BRANSGORE thrower Scott Mitchell examined his Grand Slam of Darts draw and admitted: "There were worse groups to be drawn in."

Former Lakeside champion 'Scotty Dog' was today placed with number-seven seed Dave Chisnall, 2014 Frimley Green winner Stephen Bunting and Dutch youngster Jeffrey de Zwaan in the group stage for the £450,000 tournament.

The 47-year-old avoided the likes of Michael van Gerwen and Gary Anderson – both two-time PDC world champions – and arrows legend Phil Taylor.

Mitchell must finish in the top two to progress to the knockout rounds at Wolverhampton Civic Hall, which he is hoping to achieve for the first time in his third year in the event.

Reflecting on his draw, Mitchell told the Daily Echo: "They are all people I know because they are all ex-BDO players. Me, Chizzy and Bunting know each other pretty well and Jeffrey de Zwaan was a youth player in the BDO so we used to see him every weekend.

"I know what they are all about and what they have got but at the same time, they know what I've got so it will be an interesting group.

"I think there were worse ones to be drawn in and it could be quite open.

"Of course you look for a favourable draw but you know that it's really tough no matter who you get. The format is fairly short so you have to get out of the blocks quickly and go for it.

"You can't afford to drop a leg early doors because you don't get it back. The bull-ups are really important and it all depends how you feel on the day."

In facing Chisnall at the Sky-televised tournament, Mitchell will take on the man he beat 5-1 at the same venue in 2015.

Last year, Dorset county star Mitchell beat another seed, sinking Adrian Lewis 5-1.

Group A: Michael van Gerwen, Rob Cross, Joe Murnan, Ross Montgomery.

Group B: Raymond van Barneveld, Gerwyn Price, Steve Lennon, Jamie Hughes.

Group C: Phil Taylor, James Wade, Robbie Green, Peter Machin.

Group D: Daryl Gurney, Darren Webster, Mark Webster, Danny Noppert.

Group E: Peter Wright, Alan Norris, Corey Cadby, Glen Durrant.

Group F: Dave Chisnall, Stephen Bunting, Jeffrey de Zwaan, Scott Mitchell.

Group G: Mensur Suljovic, Michael Smith, James Wilson, Mark McGeeney.

Group H: Gary Anderson, Simon Whitlock, Berry van Peer, Cameron Menzies.