What a year 2017 was for Daryl Gurney,
The Waterside man, who is now up to number six in the PDC (Professional Darts Corporation) World Rankings, won two titles - World Grand Prix and Players Championship - and he’s already looking forward to what he hopes will be an even memorable 2018.
After rising to number four in the PDC rankings Gurney still believes he has a lot to learn and he dreams of winning the William Hill World Darts Championship.
“We all want to be World Champion but you have to start from the bottom and work your way up,” he insisted.
“I haven’t played my best on TV yet and I haven’t won enough tournaments.
“Every year is still a learning process and if it’s going to take another couple of years to get to being a potential word champion and throw a 100 average in every game then I just have to do it. I have got a bit of time on my side, as I’m here to play the long game.
Winning two tournaments isn’t enough, it’s nearly like a one hit wonder. I still got a lot more practicing to do and a lot more tournaments to try and win.Daryl Gurney
“Hopefully I have a long career ahead of me and hopefully one day I’ll get my name on that Sid Waddell trophy.”
Having only joined the PDC five years ago, Gurney has always looked to up his game each year and 2018 will be no different, as he hopes to mark his tenth anniversary of playing in the big stage.
“Since I have joined the PDC it is to try and beat the previous year, so if I could do the same what I did last year or even slightly better I’ll be happy.
“It’s mad to think that I qualified for Lakeside in 2008 and then they obviously play the tournament in January 2009, so that’s 10 years already and it feels like a blink of an eye because whenever you are challenging every single weekend for darts, a year doesn’t feel like a year, it feels like six months because darts careers seem to fly in so much and that’s why people come in and out of form so much just because the way the darts calendar is, as it’s just non-stop.”
Gurney, who’s season gets underway when he faces Gerwyn Price this Saturday at the Unibet Masters competition, is delighted to be involved in this year’s Premier League.
“Whenever you get to the top ten in the world you have to be looking forward to playing in the Premier League,” he insisted.
“If you aren’t looking forward to playing the best players in the world, then there’s no sense playing darts
“This year is bigger than last year and we have to try and improve from what I did last year, I know that’s going to be hard, but I’m up for the challenge.
“I only won two tournaments last year so I’m kind of new to being one of the elite players, so I want to win more and winning two tournaments isn’t enough, it’s nearly like a one hit wonder. I still got a lot more practicing to do and a lot more tournaments to try and win.
“It’s massive, every night there’s a 10,000 crowd and whenever you have got 10,000 people on a Thursday night at darts match, so you are doing something right.
“Everything is positive and the future is bright for darts.”
The 31-year-old is looking forward to getting back into the swing of things this weekend in Milton Keynes.
“The 16 top in the world now play in the Masters, it’s a competition to just get warmed up for the Premier League, because we have all not probably played since the World’s so the Masters is always a good tournament for players to get their arm and eye into the way of things,” he added.
“While we are all want to do well at the Masters we also all want to hit the stage running when it comes to the Premier League. The Masters’ is going to be a good tournament and with the top 16 players in the world taking part, it should be quality.”
Gurney admits he changed things on the practice board last year and he believes he’ll have to do that again in 2018.
“I definitely upped everything in 2017,” he explained.
“I usually did two hours practice and I was probably just chucking at the board, where as now I’m throwing with a bit more purpose and the two hours practice I do now, I play games and practice my finishing.
“I know I could always score with the best but finishing was always a struggle some nights but I shown a few times on TV that my doubling was up there with the best whenever they were going on and even on some off nights I was still able to finish.
“So this year I’m looking to keep my scoring up and practice on my finishes and get better on these bullseye finishes.”
Superchin conceded he was disappointed to be knocked out by John Henderson at the second round stage of the World Darts Championship, at Alexandra Palace and he conceded that Rob Cross was a deserved winner of the Sid Waddell trophy.
“To win any game you have to take your chances and you have to be averaging over 100 and I think Rob done that in all of his games. He’s a quality player and whenever the draw came out I seen that I would maybe play him in the third round, but then John Henderson put an end,” he said.
“That night I didn’t play my best and there was just something missing, I was up for the fight but the darts weren’t going in. I could have won that 4-0, if the 116 and the 82, but I missed them and then it was 2-2 and he beat me 4-2, but look fair play to him he beat me, but I knew he didn’t have enough left to beat Rob.”