Colin Lloyd took some time out to discuss the Netherlands, and its most successful darting son.

The former world number one, and current pundit, exhibition star and podcaster (more on that later) will appear on stages across Holland for the Kings of Darts exhibitions in January. Lloyd hasn’t been there for a while, but is relishing a return.

“The last time I was in Holland, I was doing an exhibition with one of the top guys over there, Roland Scholten,” Lloyd told dartsnews.com.

“I love coming to Holland. They love their darts, they’ve had two of the greatest ever players… there’s always a great fanbase over there.

“It’s sort of dried up a bit – there aren’t as many exhibitions over there as there used to be.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Mike the destroyer

Scholten was once the top dog in Dutch PDC darts; after the Raymond van Barneveld revolution, it’s now Michael van Gerwen who leads the way. Lloyd is full of admiration for the man he faced 20 times during his own storied career.

“You knew Michael was a talent, coming through. He lost his way a bit as a young lad – but listen, he found his feet and hasn’t looked back since,” he said.

“He’s come to be one of the, if not the, greatest players in world darts. The thing I like about Michael, he treats it as a business. He goes up on the stage to win… to destroy.”

We spoke with Lloyd in the aftermath of van Gerwen’s Grand Slam defeat to Gerwyn Price – a match avenged in fine fashion at the Players Championship Finals. The former World Matchplay champ believes the Dutchman is in top form, regardless of the odd high-profile loss.

“For large parts of that match [the Grand Slam semi-final], he was averaging 105-plus. But Price kept hanging in there. Every time he got a shot, he was taking it.

“I don’t think he’s got any worries, he’s throwing great stuff at the minute. He can turn it on like a light switch.”

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Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Ally Pally predictions

Lloyd, looking ahead to the upcoming World Championship, naturally touted van Gerwen as the clear favourite. The 46-year-old also put forward the names of a few key contenders, including the back-to-back Grand Slam champion.

“I think Price is playing extremely well. He seems very level-headed and believes in his ability on the dartboard. Peter Wright is playing exceptionally well. What’s Gary Anderson going to get up to?

“Michael Smith is very dangerous but just needs to right a few wrongs. The great thing about Michael [van Gerwen] is, he turns up to majors and is switched on. He’ll be ready for anyone and everyone up against him.”

The Darts Show must go on

Luckily, we don’t have to wait for interview opportunities like this one to hear Lloyd’s thoughts on the game. Jaws is a regular on Sky Sports’ The Darts Show podcast. It’s clear that the show’s resident playing veteran is excited at the prospect of spreading the good word in darts.

“We basically just want want to get out there with what’s going on behind the scenes,” he explained.

“We get some nice interviews with the players. I think we’re going to go a bit further by having some interviews with Dave Allen, Barry Hearn, Jamie Banks, Matt Porter and people like that.

“And we also want to have some chats with darts companies, what it means to them to be involved in darts. Just generally get more information to the public and fans as to what happens in and around the circuit of darts.

“There’s some people out there thinking: ‘I’d like to be a professional darts player, but I don’t know how to go about it’.

“The more information we get out there – there’s always a feeder system where someone can give you information about every darts event. We want to be one of them…we’ll see how it goes.”

Incidentally, Barry Hearn has since made his Darts Show podcast debut – which we covered here.

Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

Photo: Pieter Verbeek/PV-Darts

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Author: Ed McCosh