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Friday, February 13, 2009

February Superstars of Darts online newsletter - 2009

Welcome to the February Superstars of Darts online newsletter. The
speculation is finally over. Gary Anderson is a PDC player and so one of
the longest running sagas in darts comes to an end.

Superstars of Darts is delighted to bring you an exclusive interview
with Gary Anderson about the move and his future with the PDC.



Gary, what has brought about your move to the PDC at this stage in your

GA: I need a fresh challenge in my career at the moment and it's
something I had to do.

In our huge survey of fans, players and anyone interested in darts
shortly before Christmas, you were voted by hundreds as the second most
popular player in the sport, only just behind Phil Taylor. There has
been a growing groundswell of support behind you over the past few years
and presumably it will only get bigger now your profile is raised in the
PDC. What are your thoughts on having this level of popularity and how
you will cope with it over the coming year or so?

GA : I would like to thank all the fans who voted for me and I will be
trying my very best in the coming months. I am definitely a player who
likes being out in the crowd rather than stuck in VIP rooms.

However perhaps now fans will be able to focus on your darts rather then
when you are going to move to the PDC. It must be a relief to finally be
able to put all the will he/ won't he speculation behind you?

GA : I am there now, so hopefully I can kick on, but it may take a few
months to settle in.

Going on the pro tour and playing top level double headers most weekends
is a massive commitment for you. How will you have to adapt to this new
lifestyle and what are your thoughts about taking on the likes of
Taylor, Barneveld and Wade week in, week out?

GA : I am looking forward to playing two events in the one weekend with
my first one being Irvine in Scotland. The exhibition circiut is very
busy at the moment with the MIB team and its something I enjoy very much
as it lets you get out there and meet the fans so I will still be doing
just as many.

I can't wait to take on Phil , Raymond & James. However there are a lot
of other good players in the PDC, not just these three!

How is the feeling now that you have left the BDO, do you wish the
animosity between the PDC and BDO was less? For example your photo was
removed from the BDO website a couple of weeks beforeyour move was even
announced. Have you been wished well by organisers and officials or were
you put under pressure at Lakeside?

GA : There has been no bad feelings in my move to the PDC from anyone at
the BDO. It's like a family there. People like Martin Fitzmaurice,
Robert Holmes, Rab Butler and many more are and always will be friends
and I would like to thank them and the BDO for all there help over the
last 10 years. I will also be still working with my MIB darts partners
Gary Robson & Darryl Fitton along with Davie Hanson.

Will you always look back with disappointment that you were never able
to reach either the World Masters or Lakeside final?

GA : Not really. I am very pleased with all the events I have won
already, and I am going to hopefully add to them in the future

What are your immediate ambitions in the PDC and on the tour. What would
you be satisfied with in a year's time?

GA : My main thing must be to try and qualify for the major events and
hopefully play well.

Finally, I guess there will be a bit of a battle between you and Robert
Thornton to establish who is the PDC Scottish number one player. Will
you have half an eye on that, I am sure the fans will?!

GA : Scotland's number one or World's number one, it does not really
bother me. I just want to try and play to my best darts and see where
that takes me...



So Mark Webster and Gary Anderson have now been confirmed as PDC
players. Are any of the other remaining BDO World Championship
participants likely to follow? The below is my personal opinion only!

Scott Waites - He has been given a Grand Slam of Darts place in lieu of
Martin Adams third (and final) refusal but the current word is he may
stay with the BDO, however the feedback seems to change almost daily!

Simon Whitlock - Yes. Probably around September. Simon has posted on his
website that he will move to the UK later in the year and his wife has
confirmed on Superstars of Darts that they will probably move to the UK
in September and that Simon recognises that future earnings are with the

Tony O'Shea and Darryl Fitton - I don't know! Whereas the indicators
were looking positive a few months ago, those close to the players seem
to say nothing will happen now. Both players aren't getting any younger
(no offence, chaps) so if they don't decide to move to the PDC soon,
that respective boat may pass them by. I don't get the feeling anything
is on the cards for the immediate future, but who knows what is around
the corner.

As to anyone else - your guess is as good as mine!



As stated by Barry Hearn in recent Superstars of Darts interviews, 2009
is a consolidation year for the PDC, given the current global financial
climate. However there are tentative whispers of a new Pro Tour event
being considered in the Meditteranean for the second half of the year.

It is still looking unlikely that there will be any TV coverage for the
US Open this year. The event should still go ahead, probably in Atlanta.
However, rumours also abound that the European Championship could also
be moved to this timeslot (May). It's all down to TV coverage and

As for the North American Darts Championships, again this should still
go ahead in Boston, but entry will be restricted to Americans and
Canadians only.

Qualification for this year's Zuiderduin Masters (one of the biggest
events on the BDO/WDF calendar) is being revised and it will level out
the playing field as far as qualification from European and UK based
tournaments is concerned. So whereas last year's tournament had a line
up very similar to Lakeside, expect some new names in the mix from
Belgium, Holland and possibly Germany for this year's tournament

The German Open this year will be the first to control alcohol use and
abuse by the juniors. As the rules for drinking vary from country to
country the German organisation are having a zero tolerance approach for
under 18s. A good move perhaps as it can lead to less players being so
reliable on drinking alcohol in order to perfom to their best and it can
only be good for the image of the sport.

And as a final teaser, the BBC have been talking to the PDC about their
future output in Darts....


Finally, if you haven't already seen them - don't forget to check out
our exclusive interview with Mark Webster conducted immediately after
his move to the PDC and our brand new forum member's interview with PDC
Chairman, Barry Hearn.

Both are in the "Articles & Interviews" section of the forum.
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