George Killington has made a promising start to the PDC Development Tour season – just like his career as a whole.
The 22-year-old Londoner reached the quarter-finals of Development Tour 1, losing out to Geert Nentjes. It took an in-form Keane Barry to cut short his Development Tour 2 run. Having been in darts since making his youth tour bow seven years ago, Killington has played against a lot of top players. Is this the best youth scene he’s been a part of?
“But the standard now is probably a lot more solid. There was some amazing players back then but the field didn’t have as much depth as it does now.
There’s people you may never have heard of throwing in 100+ averages against you. There’s a lot of players coming through at the moment. I think Brad Brooks and Jarred Cole are ones to look for as they are both a bit younger than most names normally mentioned, but they have already made names for themselves and I can see them going far.”
One name Killington might now be sick of is Nentjes. The Dutch star ended his Wigan run on Saturday; last year, he did more than that. ‘Killer’ was heading for the PDC World Championship when Nentjes reeled off consecutive event finals to claim the spot through the Development Tour.
“Yes, it hurt… it was heart breaking to be honest but all credit to Geert,” a rueful Killington reflected.
“I think I was a little fatigued that weekend and he had to do exactly what he did. He’s a fantastic player anyway and I like him a lot, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt!
“Hopefully I won’t be in a position where it comes down to the last tournament this year.”
The Development Tour isn’t his only focus. The Tottenham ace has been a PDC Tour Card holder since January 2018. While that brings automatic entry into the UK Open – he beat Ted Evetts in Minehead before losing out to Madars Razma – there’s also the pressure of earning ranking money through Pro Tour floor events. To date, he’s yet to cash. Killington does not plan to pile the pressure on himself.
“I wouldn’t say there’s more pressure [with his two-year Tour Card expiring in December]. If I went in thinking that I’m building another wall to jump over before I’m even there,” he said.
“I’m definitely more determined this year. It was a great learning experience last year and I showed in parts that I can mix it with the best of them. But I want to push further this year.”
Ambition is the watchword for Killington, who won Development Tour 14 last year. Every year is a new learning curve, but that comes with the determination to reach the highest level.
“I’ve learnt a lot from the tour already; I’ve been playing on it for many many years now. But you can always learn.
“I think the mental side of the game is the most important.
“There’s a lot of us on the tour who can throw some majestic stuff, but the right mindset is the difference between a good player and great player. I think I have a very good mindset but there’s always room for improvement.
“Another thing to mention would be fitness. If you have a good run in the first comp, it’s hard to pull yourself back up for the second. Two events in a day is tough and it takes a lot out of you so I think that’s something else to focus on.”
At 22, Killington is one of the least experienced players on the Pro Tour. Conversely, he’s one of the most experienced on the Development Tour. He has two years left to succeed on the youth circuit, but his ‘Killer’ instinct is pushing him towards chasing instant success.
“The goal is as it always is; win as many matches as I can and win as many tournaments as possible.
“I know it’s a really tough field but I am aiming to try to win it this year,” he said.
“Last year was good but there were a few blips in parts. If I get rid of them and play like I can I know I have the game to do so.”
Author: Ed McCosh