John Henderson is ready to have another big impact on the Premier League Darts.

The decision to introduce contenders for the 2019 Premier League Darts split opinion, until Henderson’s introduction. Aberdeen welcomed the Scot with a thunderous reception, and Henderson ramped up the atmosphere by grabbing a 6-6 draw with Michael van Gerwen.

Given how special his 2019 cameo was, it isn’t surprising that the Highlander’s second homecoming is highly anticipated. This time around, Henderson plays Nathan Aspinall, who makes his debut as a regular after being a contender last season. He’ll play before a bigger Aberdeen crowd, with tickets having sold out at impressive speed.

Henderson told Live Darts that he’s ready for another memorable night in Aberdeen.

“Last year was just phenomenal. It was the highlight of my darts career,” he said.

“Thursday night, there’s going to be even more people, 8,000 people. It’s going to be noisy – messy, probably – but a very good night.

“I didn’t think they were going to go with it, the contenders. Luckily for me, they are, and I’ve got the opportunity to try and relive last year.

“I can’t see it topping last year to be honest. I’ve got goosebumps just thinking of last year, so let’s hope we can make some new memories and enjoy the occasion.”

Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Photo: Lawrence Lustig/PDC

Hometown hero

Henderson’s starring role in Aberdeen had a galvanising effect on local darts. Despite Peter Wright being a Scottish world champion and Gary Anderson joining him in the Premier League, the nation is after more representation at the highest level. The world number 31 believes his contender spot is a guiding light for Scottish hopefuls.

“People still talk about it today. I can’t believe it’s been a year, because it’s fresh in people’s minds,” said Henderson.

“A lot of people in the local league here have said ‘I’d love to do that’.

“I think a few Aberdonians went down to Q-School this year just for the simple reason of seeing if they can play in front of thousands in the Premier League.”

Welcome to Aberdeen

Aspinall has reached successive World Championship semi-finals, but Hendo is of the opinion that his Aberdeen appearance will be a brand new experience.

“He’s in for a noisy night! He won’t be booed, they’re not a crowd like that.

“I don’t think he’ll have played in an atmosphere, we’ll see how he handles it.

“He’s having a great year so I’m sure he’ll be fine,” Henderson summarised.

“It would’ve been nice to play Michael [van Gerwen] again if I’m being honest! But it doesn’t matter who you play, it’s the occasion you’re playing.

“It’s going to be a hard game against Nathan, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll get the win.”

Steve Welsh/PDC

Photo: Steve Welsh/PDC

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Author: Ed McCosh