Vincent van der Voort has changed his opinion about the contenders format that has shaken up this years Premier League Darts. The PDC’s adjustment to the format has been a hit with fans, despite early criticisms.
Just a few days before the kick-off of this year’s Premier League Darts, Gary Anderson had to withdraw due to an back injury. The PDC opted to select nine contenders to replace ‘The Flying Scotsman’, instead of picking just one replacement. The contenders, made up of stars of the future and local favourites, made their debuts in the Premier League Darts in the past few weeks. Van der Voort who was critical about this decision in the beginning, admits that he looks back on the first half of the competition with a positive feeling.
”Firstly, I was very critical about the decision to replace Anderson with nine different players. But if I’m honest, I have to conclude I have changed my mind about this. It turned out to be a good decision”, the Dutchman told Dartsnews.
”In my opinion, the Premier League has lost some glamour. Week in week out, we see the same names. Then it’s not special anymore to see Daryl Gurney against Gerwyn Price. I was more looking forward to see how Dimitri van den Bergh and Jeffrey de Zwaan would play in this competition.”
”Nathan Aspinall won the UK Open for example, but had no chance against Michael Smith in the Premier League, while Glen Durrant didn’t play as well as I expected. It is good to see how players like this would play under such circumstances.”
Back to back strikes of luck
Last year the PDC were forced to host a double-header in Rotterdam. Adverse weather conditions in the UK made it virtually impossible to travel to Exeter, and the fixtures were re-scheduled. The fixtures were played in Rotterdam in front of the Dutch crowd, and it went down a treat.
The PDC had to improvise again this season after Anderson’s withdrawal and it seems it became a success again. Whether there is a chance that the PDC will select nine different players again in 2020 to play one match each? Van der Voort suspects that this option is certainly on the table.
”I think so. Mainly because they can see if certain players are ready for it and develop further. Maybe they are going to try this again and perhaps it’s good to do that.”
”But in that case, they have to choose players who can become a permanent fixture in the future. There were players in the past who received an invite for the Premier League, but were not ready for this yet. They lost a whole season as they struggled after the competition.”
Van der Voort thinks Corey Cadby would be a candidate for next season, whether or not for the whole competition. ”Everyone is looking with interest to Cadby’s performances. You need new names and that has not happened much in recent years in the Premier League.”
”I think, if he had had no visa problems, Cadby would have been in this year already. That guy has everything, is different compared to other players and is also a very good player”, said Van der Voort about the former World Youth Champion.