DIMITRI Van den Bergh
DIMITRI Van den Bergh Getty

Dimitri following his dream down under with Pro Darts Showdown

DIMITRI Van den Bergh is nicknamed the Dream Maker on the PDC Darts Tour but a trip to Australia was beyond his wildest imagination when he turned professional three years ago.

Now the 23-year-old Belgian, is part of the International Pro Darts Showdown Series alongside the likes of Phil "The Power" Taylor and Australian No.2 Kyle Anderson.

The inaugural series rolls into Townsville on Wednesday and Thursday night before finishing in Mackay on Saturday and Sunday.

Van den Bergh is the world youth champion and reached the quarter-finals of the recent world championships before losing to eventual winner Rob Cross.

He was invited by Sydney Darts, who paid for his trip down under for exhibitions with them and Team Rebel in Melbourne.

He then came on the News Corp-run tour as a replacement for Simon Whitlock, who could only play in the first two legs in Brisbane and on the Gold Coast due to PDC commitments in the UK.

Van den Bergh said he initially wasn't sure about talking up the invitation but then the draw of a first visit Down Under, for the exhibitions in New South Wales and then the series, proved to be an offer he couldn't refuse.

"I did think twice, because I thought 'why do they want to have me over in Australia? What have I accomplished yet or why am I so interesting?'" he said.

"But as soon as they asked me everything just clicked on the PDC Tour. I got to the quarter-finals of the world series, I managed to win the youth final and then played in the quarter-finals of the world championships.

"Then I thought's let's enjoy this and take every moment I can get and make it the biggest experience of my life."

The Antwerp native said he was always going to be a darts player after his father Chris - a Belgian international - took him along to his tournaments.

"It was definitely in my blood," Van den Bergh said.

"I was born with darts, I went to bed with darts I woke up with darts I dreamt about darts, so everything in my life was those five letters DARTS ... that was everything in my mind.

"When I was 18 I got a tattoo my friend paid for it for my birthday.... following my dreams.

"Every choice I have made in my life was based on how can I evolve in darts."

Van den Bergh, who is also known for his dance moves during his darts walk-on, said he had no expectations of the Pro Darts series but promised fans a great night out.

"I am in Australia for playing darts," he said.

"Who would have said that me, a 23-year-old, would be going to Australia playing darts because people want to see me.

"Two or three years ago I would have never said that would happen.

"But I am actually here now. It's unreal for me.

"What ever happens I am going to enjoy it and take everything as it comes and make the most out of it."

The International Pro Darts Showdown Series is at the Townsville Stadium (Murray Sports Complex) on Wednesday and Thursday before finishing up at the Mackay Entertainment Centre on Saturday and Sunday.

Tickets are still available from Ticketek.

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