07:00 Thursday 09 January 2014

Nicky Brett hopes fortune favours Just Retirement World Championships effort

Written byAARON MASON

Nicky Brett Nicky Brett

Nicky Brett admitted he would need a touch of luck to go his way as he embarks on the Just Retirement World Championships at Hopton-on-Sea this weekend.

City of Ely’s England international goes into the competition in great form after winning his first World Bowls Tour title – the Co-Operative Funeralcare Scottish International Open – in November followed by reaching the last four of the Imagine Cruising Premier Threes last month.

But while Brett is beginning to become an established name on the international stage, he believes fortune will play some part if he is to follow in clubmate Greg Harlow’s footsteps and win the world crown.

He said: “You definitely need someone on your shoulder giving you a little bit when you need it.

“At the last two or three worlds, I just haven’t been able to play my best stuff when I really needed to and I’ve found a way to lose rather than win.

“The year Andy Thomson won it (2012), I played him in the quarter-finals and I was 1-0 up and three or four up in the second set and managed to lose.

“But at the Scottish Open, I probably shouldn’t have won the final, but I just did enough at the end to win it and you’ve always got some consolation when you lose that you’re playing against the best players in the world.”

Brett takes on Australia’s Grant Nicol in his opening singles game on Wednesday while former world No 1 Harlow comes up against Gary Kelly of Northern Ireland in the first round on Monday as he looks to add to the world title he won four years ago.

However, despite his growing profile, Brett felt the likes of Harlow, five-times champion Alex Marshall, two-times winner Paul Foster and 2006 victor Mervyn King were still the players others wanted to beat.

He said: “I’ve been playing well for the last year or so, but others would still look at those guys more than me.

“I don’t think anyone looks at me any more than they did before, but my results have shown I can compete against the best players in the world on the biggest stage.

“For me, it’s just all about sustaining that and the biggest prize is being world champion.

“At some stage, I hope to step up enough to go and do that.”

Brett and Harlow, who have won the English men’s pairs title for the past three seasons, will also aim for their first world title together and launch their bid against Scotland’s Andrew Barker and Michael Stepney on Saturday.

Harlow also teams up with compatriot Janice Gower in the mixed pairs quarter-finals against Scotland’s Darren Burnett and Karen Murphy of Australia on January 17.

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