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Автор Стюарт Пайк (Stuart Pyke) 27 Июля 2006 01:52

Methinks there is a new broom sweeping through top level darts and I say: “About time!”

It is great to see new talent hitting the heights in the wide world of darts and I think it is getting a lot harder now for the ‘old guard’ to compete at the highest level.

When the great Phil Taylor reveals that he has never found so tough, you tend to listen and you just have to look back at results over the last two years. Time and time again, the big names are toppled by the new guard.

My first ever tournament on the Sky Sports commentary team was the World Matchplay in Blackpool back in 2003. I have been looking through the event programme just to remind myself who was around….and who has faded away into darts history, as far as major TV tournaments are concerned.

In 2003, we had Les Fitton, American Steve Brown, John Lowe, Keith Deller, Mick Manning, Jamie Harvey, Richie Burnett, Cliff Lazarenko and Peter Evison.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great players, great characters and legends of darts in that list…..Lowe, Deller and Burnett will forever be in Darts Hall of Fame – all World Champions and all fantastic ambassadors of the sport….Big Cliff and Jamie Harvey are two of the most recognisable faces in the darts world – but times are-a-changing.

It was that very tournament in 2003, we first saw darts great entertainer Wayne Mardle. It was his debut in a PDC ‘Major’ and he went all the way to the final, eventually losing to Taylor. ‘Hawaii 501’ is now the most popular player in the world with the fans and I firmly believe that once he has won a ‘big one’ he will win many more titles over the next decade.

In 2006, here in Blackpool, we have Andy Hamilton, Barrie Bates and the Unicorn trio of James Wade, Adrian Lewis and Wes Newton.

Then there is Colin Osborne, Adrian Gray…..Chris Mason and Alex Roy (if they can get their heads straight!)

All these players are the future…..and of course a certain Raymond Van Barneveld has rejuvenated the PDC scene.

You will find more and more players taking the plunge and turning full-time professional. The PDC has to be credited for putting its money where its mouth is….Barry Hearn promised big money and he has delivered….with £2 million in prize money guaranteed in 2007.

The characters will always be there and yes the cream will always rise to the top….Taylor, Lloyd, Part, Manley, Painter, Mardle, Baxter etc will continue to wow the darts fans across the world….but it won’t be too long before the new names start to stamp their authority and start to win the big titles.

Do you agree or disagree?! Post a reply here

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