Dartsnews.com recently had the opportunity to catch up with Ireland’s Steve Lennon who has had a brilliant first year on the PDC tour which is underlined with his current run at the Grand Slam where the Carlow native has reached Round 2 coming really close to topping the group and before the Grand Slam, we spoke to him about a variety of topics including Irish darts, Development Tour, Euro Tour and of course the Grand Slam.
Firstly we spoke about how he got into darts growing up and he gave this answer :
‘My brother used to play at home so I just kind of started throwing a few games in the house when I was bored, then in the pub I used to practice then with a man named Mick Lawlor who introduced me to the county darts scene and then it just sort of went from there’
From there we then spoke about particular players that inspired him growing up and made him pick up a set of darts for the first time.
‘Phil Taylor is an inspiration to be fair! I’m sure he is for a lot of people. What he has achieved in his career is phenomenal but its really his serious motivation he has to keep on creating records to this day and his drive to keep on winning is what I really find amazing!’
We then shifted gears to talk about his first year on the PDC tour and what his thoughts on it have been as well as qualifying for the worlds in only a months’ time.
‘I’ve loved every minute of it so far! The experience of playing in a PDC environment from doing development tours I think helped me to settle in a bit quicker than expected. Participating in quite a number of BDO events aswell last year helped get used to an environment with top players. The year itself has gone a lot better than I thought as well so I’m really pleased with my progress so far this year especially considering the standard on the pro tour. Qualifying for the World Championships was absolutely amazing to do especially for my first year on the tour! I didn’t think I could achieve that at the start of the year as I had no idea what to expect i’m just glad it has went well so far’
We continued on with the theme of qualifying for events with talking about the Euro Tour events and what his thoughts are on them and also the amount of events currently on the PDC calendar.
‘I really enjoy playing in them as they are great for stage experience if you make TV events. I hope I can continue to qualify for more in the coming year ahead. In terms of the number of events put on during the year, I think I may be the only one who would say this but I dont find it too hectic of a schedule! If I could choose I would have events on every weekend as I really like playing darts in general anyway! If there is no PDC event on a certain weekend I usually go and try find one in Ireland to play so the more events on the better I believe haha’
Steve is currently competing in the Grand Slam of Darts and as the interview took place shortly after him qualifying the next question was about that and his thoughts on making his TV debut at the Wolves Civic.
‘It was an amazing achievement for myself! I had played so well that morning in the World Youths but unfortunately just got out played in the game so i was a bit gutted at the start of the day! I’m really happy to have played so well to qualify, the game against Joe Cullen was quite difficult but was so glad to get over the winning line. Cant wait for the Grand Slam now and i’m really looking forward to the experience as I love the format as well!’
Irish Darts has produced some brilliant players over the past few years including the likes of Mick McGowan and William O’Connor and the next question was about that and his thoughts on Irish Darts currently.
‘The standard of Irish darts is improving every year and is at a high level. There are a lot of good young players coming through the ranks at the minute!’
Steve before going over to the main tour plied his trade on the Development Tour and still has done up to recently so the penultimate question was about that and how it has helped him and whether or not he would recommend it to anyone
‘The development tour has helped me improve in my game a lot! In my opinion they are by far the best tournaments around for young players to compete in! Having it as the same setup and atmosphere as the pro tour events does help a lot! The standard is unreal and seems to be getting better each year. Unfortunately I am overage to play next year in them so I will miss playing in them to be honest! But I would definitely recommend it for anyone to try as it gives you a good indication of where you are at in your game plus it is a great experience and not only is the standard great but the prize money is good as well!’
Finally we asked him about his win over Raymond van Barneveld in a ProTour game and whether he saw that as one of his finest wins.
It was fantastic to beat Barney in a close run game and I would say it would have to be one of my best wins.
Tags: Interview | Steve Lennon
Author: Samuel Gill