Luke Littler is ready to get “back to business” as he begins life after his sensational World Championship campaign.
The 16-year-old took Alexandra Palace by storm over Christmas, bulldozing his way to the final on debut before losing to Luke Humphries.
His life changed forever during that run as he became front-page news, enjoyed celebrity status and has been given a seat at the top table of the sport.
That begins with an appearance in the Bahrain Masters, starting on Thursday, where he takes on Man Lok Leung in the first round.
Littler, who could play Nathan Aspinall in the quarter-finals, is refreshed after a holiday and raring to go.
“It’s back to business for me now,” he said. “I’ve chilled out and not really thrown many darts since the World Championship final, but I’m sure that once I’m in the practice room I’ll be alright.
“I like playing all the time but after the World Championship I wanted to get away, which me and the family did. Hopefully I can have a good event here to get back playing.
“I’m in this event in Bahrain, in the Dutch Darts Masters next week and then the Premier League. I don’t really have any goals, I’m just going to have to see what the darts do.”
Littler has continued living the high life during his break as he spent time with his beloved rugby league club Warrington while also getting the chance to meet Manchester United great Sir Alex Ferguson.
“It’s been crazy. Warrington Wolves invited me down and I went to the Manchester United game and met Sir Alex Ferguson,” he added.
“To meet him was amazing and he said some lovely things to me about staying dedicated and believing in myself.
“The holiday was great to get away from everything and we did that. My life’s changed and my family’s life has changed and I’m grateful for the opportunities I’m getting.”
Michael Smith begins the defence of his title against Paolo Nebrida while world champion and world No 1 Humphries begins his reign against Abdulla Saeed.
Michael van Gerwen plays Hasan Haji, Gerwyn Price takes on Reynaldo Rivera, Aspinall is paired with Lourence Ilagan, Rob Cross has drawn Tomoya Goto and Peter Wright kicks off against Haruki Muramatsu.