Ahead of Q-School starting tomorrow in Wigan and Hildesheim, Dartsnews.com caught up with ‘The Assassin’ Martin Atkins who will be making his debut in Wigan and will be one of many trying to win a coveted place on the PDC tour.
He was one of the first to sign up for Q-School and one of the first to switch from the BDO, an organisation he had competed for since 2002 and in this short interview we speak about his beginnings in darts, Q-School and his aims if he does get a tour card.
Q. Thank you for accepting to do this interview Martin, first of all how did you get into playing darts growing up?
‘I played darts at home with my dad at a young age then joined the local WMC team when i was 17’.
Q. You are known as The Assassin, how did that name come about and was it you or someone close to you that came up with it?
‘The name Assassin came about when i made the TV rounds of the World Masters. I was going up the stairs to the practice room when a guy I knew vaguely at the time shouted out go on the Yorkshire Assassin. Martin Fitzmaurice was testing the microphone on stage and called me on stage later for my game as the Yorkshire Assassin. I am now good friends with the guy who’s also from Leeds Rich Winpenny.’
Q. You will be taking part in Q-School for the first time this month, what are your thoughts on your chances and what made you make the decision to move over?
‘I am going into Q school with an open mind I am expecting it to be tough to get a Tour Card as there are so many good players out there. I’m looking forward to the Challenge. I’m playing well and my self belief is good so hopefully I can achieve my goal of a Tour Card. As for making the switch over the last couple of years I became very disillusioned with the BDO with promises of events not happening, poor promotion of events that did happen, rule changes mid season and generally not moving forward although having enjoyed playing in the BDO for many years I felt I needed a change.’
Q. Speaking of Q-School it was recently announced that entry fees will be abolished next year, what do you make of that and do you think it will entice more players to move over from the BDO?
‘The announcement of no entry fees if you get a tour card is sure to attract more BDO players and other players also as the majority of the events are in the UK. It makes it far more affordable with big rewards compared to the BDO where travelling is all over Europe with not much reward in terms of prize money.’
Q. You have played for England before, how is it to represent your country internationally and would you say it ranks up there in terms of personal achievements?
‘I have played for England many times and had the pleasure of winning the World Cup with England and yes it is up there with my personal achievements I was very proud to play for my country.’
Q. Finally if best case scenario you get your tour card, what are your ambitions on the PDC tour next year now you’ve moved over?
‘If I get a tour card my ambitions are to climb the rankings and try qualify for the TV events I would love to play in the Matchplay at Blackpool and the World Championship at Ally Aally as the atmosphere looks amazing’.
Interview conducted by Samuel Gill, writer for Dartsnews.comTags: Interview | Martin Atkins | Q-School