John Henderson wants to give north-east fans “a show” when he makes his Premier League debut at the AECC against world number one Michael van Gerwen.
Huntly’s Henderson, 45, was revealed as one of nine “contenders” who have been drafted in by organisers to replace injured Gary Anderson during the first round of Premier League fixtures around the UK.
The Highlander – 20th in the rankings – was delighted to be brought in for his home show in Aberdeen.
He said: “I only found out on Monday. It was a nice surprise.
“I’ve never been involved before. It’s going to be exciting, especially in front of my home crowd in Aberdeen.
“I’ve played at Ally Pally, the grand prix, the matchplay and there are 4,500 people there. But there will be 10,000 at the exhibition centre.
“It should be a bit noisy – I’m looking forward to it.”
The news of fan favourite Hendo’s inclusion would have left the punters similarly ecstatic.
After Anderson’s exit, only Peter “Snakebite” Wright was left to represent Scotland in the competition.
Henderson said: “It’s fine to get another Scotsman in.
“I thought they might have given it to another player, but it’s good for us nine to get a taster of what it’s all about.
“I watch it (the Premier League) every Thursday and always go to the one in Aberdeen.
“When you speak to the players, they love it.
“It’s like a massive exhibition, 10,000 in Aberdeen and more in Dublin and London.
“The opportunity to play in front of the crowd will be something else – hopefully I can give them a show.
“I know I’ve got Michael, so it’s not going to be easy.
“It was unfortunate Gary was due to play him in Aberdeen, but I’ve got nothing to lose.
“I’ll enjoy it, take one leg at a time. If I get a couple of legs off him I’ll be delighted. I just need to get on top of him from the word go.
“I’m looking forward to the experience.”
Henderson v world champion Van Gerwen is set to be the last match of the evening when the Premier League rolls into the Granite City on March 7.
Hendo, who reached the semi-finals of the 2017 World Grand Prix by beating Van Gerwen, as well as the 2018 World Championship last 16, thinks a typically raucous crowd will be right behind him.
He said: “I don’t think it would’ve mattered who I was playing. I still would have got a great, noisy reception.
“I believe it’s going to be the last game of the night, so there will a few intoxicated fans there.
“I’ve been there many times before. There has been good support for Gary, Peter and hopefully they get right behind me, which I’m sure they will.”
Professional Henderson, pictured, has won close to £200,000 in prize money, according to the current PDC Order of Merit, with more up for grabs if he can beat MVG in Aberdeen.
He won’t be able to win Premier League points, as he is only appearing on one night. Still, he thinks a good performance could also set him up for the rest of the year.
He said: “I’ve always said I’d like to play in the Premier League.
“I’d have liked to qualify on my own merits, but I’ve got an opportunity and I’m going to grab it. The other boys will be saying exactly the same. They (the organisers) are showing us they think we’ve got the game to do it.
“It gives me a little lift at the start of the year.
“We’re away to Wigan this weekend, then next week and that gives me a bit of practice and hopefully a good start.”