Van Duijvenbode not concerned with possible Premier League invite: ''Doing well at World Championship is much more important to me''

Dirk van Duijvenbode is competing in the World Darts Championship at Alexandra Palace this year for the fourth time - the third consecutive one.

On his debut during the 2016 edition, he lost in the first round to Raymond van Barneveld. On his return five years later, Van Duijvenbode suddenly found himself in the quarterfinals. Last year, he lost in the Last 16.

The World Darts Championship begins on Thursday, Dec. 15, but Van Duijvenbode's first match is scheduled for Dec. 22. Yet 'Aubergenius' is already noticing that the World Championship is starting to come alive.

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''It's busier with the press, more media requests. People are also asking about it,'' Van Duijvenbode explained in conversation with TOTO Dart Kings. ''People wish you luck, ask when you have to play. From that you do notice that this is a different tournament than the other tournaments.''

However, that does not apply to the preparation. That remains the same as in other tournaments. "I just do the normal things. I've noticed if I start peaking in my workouts, it doesn't have a better effect (in matches). I'll just keep doing my thing and hope it's good enough.''

The Dutchman's first opponent comes from the duel between Karel Sedlacek and Raymond Smith. That could have been a lot easier, but Van Duijvenbode doesn't care about that. ''I like it. I have a very difficult follow-up after that, so I'm glad I don't have a too easy first round. Tricky opponents, but manageable.''

Should Van Duijvenbode get very far at the World Darts Championship, an invitation to the Premier League Darts may be lurking in 2023. For this, eight players will be invited.

Van Duijvenbode, the current number fourteen in the world, is not at all concerned with that himself. ''It will be difficult anyway with eight players - if you are outside the top-10 - to lay claim to such a spot. So I'll just have to do well at the World Championship. I think doing well at the World Championship is much more important than the Premier League.''

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