World champion and world number one van Gerwen and recently-crowned Premier League champion Raymond van Barneveld were surprisingly beaten in the second round last year.
And ‘Mighty Mike’ is determined to avoid a repeat in Hamburg when the tournament gets underway on Friday.
“Losing to Finland last year was a big disappointment but it shows what can happen in this tournament,” said van Gerwen, who was beaten by his compatriot van Barneveld in the Premier League final a fortnight ago.
“Everyone is proud to be representing their country and you have to be at your best to get the right result.
“Raymond and I finished first and second in the Premier League table and played the final – but it won’t mean anything over the weekend.
“We have to get up there and play good darts or we will be going home early like we did 12 months ago.”
After winning a string of individual titles over the last 18 months, van Gerwen admits that helping Holland – who begin with a first round tie against Italy – to World Cup of Darts glory is near the top of his 2014 wish-list.
“I’m proud to represent my country and hopefully Raymond and I can win the title,” he added.
“There are a lot of good teams so it won’t be easy but we are confident and hopefully we can continue our good form.
“To win the World Cup of Darts for Holland would be a dream and it’s a big target for this year.”
Article courtesy of Michael van Gerwen’s sponsor Leyland Paints.
Van Gerwen will be joined at the event by his fellow Leyland Paints ambassadors, Mark Webster and Simon Whitlock who are representing Wales and Australia respectively.
Leyland Paints was founded in 1922 and has a long and distinguished history of affordable, trade quality paints.