Willie O'Connor is determined to give the home crowd something to cheer about when he takes on defending champion Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League in Dublin tonight.

The world number 33 from Limerick was chosen as one of nine 'Challengers’ and gets his chance on the big stage at a sold-out 3Arena.

O’Connor, a World Cup finalist alongside Steven Lennon last year, told RTÉ 2fm’s Game On: "It’s going to be mental, I can’t wait for it.

"I’m not sure you can prepare for it, I know it’s going to be loud and it’s going to be mad. All you can do is visualise it.

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"You could get caught up in the whole thing at the time but maybe try and enjoy it afterwards as opposed to at the time.

"It’s a huge night for me and it’s something that you are going to look back at in time and be delighted with how everything went, I’m delighted and I’m buzzing.

"Hopefully, I go up and put on a good performance in front of everyone.

"I’m around long enough and I have enough experience, hopefully I can go on there and just perform."

O’Connor, who turned professional, last year, also elaborated on his new routine after quitting his job as a carpenter.

"I was breaking my back working and not having [enough] time for darts or at home with the kids and family," he said.

"I was going from work to darts, work to darts to work. And it doesn’t work, you can’t get results, not at [the top] level. If you want to get up to the top you have to put in the effort that everyone else is doing.

"Now I go into the Learning Hub in Limerick and do a bit of kick-boxing training there. I’m not actually fighting. I’m just into the training part of it.

"You do have to get to a certain level of fitness. If you are into fitness and into moving, it’s good for your mind.

"If you are going to lay around all day and play darts and all you have in your head is darts, darts, darts, that’s not good for your mental health either. If your body is fit, your mind will be fit."

O’Connor can become the first Challenger to win a game if he beats the reigning Unibet Premier League champion and world number one.  

Fallon Sherrock, the first woman to win a match at the World Championship was the wildcard pick two weeks ago, drawing with Glen Durrant, and has impressed O’Connor since her breakthrough at Alexandra Palace.

"It was brilliant," said O'Connor, who reached the quarter-finals in Players Championship 5 at the weekend. 

"I thought what Fallon did was unreal, it was great for darts, it drew a lot of eyes towards the game and it can only be good for the sport. Each and every time she’s gone up she has performed."

Van Gerwen, currently second in the table behind Durrant, said: "I love playing in Dublin, the crowd there are always up there with the very best but I know they will get behind William this time.

"He will be up for the game, that's for sure, but I know I have enough to get the job done."