Cammy’s views on BDO Worlds, Grand Slam, future aims and more
We are delighted to be joined by rising star Cameron Menzies, who shares his exclusive thoughts to Sam Barnard for Darts World ahead of his first Lakeside appearance, in Part 1 of our 2018 BDO World Championship profile/interview series.
The Scotsman has made a real name for himself this year in particular, after winning his home country’s Open and Classic tournaments, as well as reaching the British Open final again and World Masters semis.
Cammy was also one of the most talked about players at the recent Grand Slam of Darts, where he gained praise from players and pundits as well as earning a new fan base thanks to his strong performances, passionate celebrations and engaging interviews.
After giving his darting hero Gary Anderson a real game in his opening match, Menzies then defeated Australian star Simon Whitlock before narrowly missing out on a place in the last 16 after a defeat to Berry van Peer in what was arguably the match of the tournament for many reasons.
Although football was initially his sporting focus – he played to a semi-pro level and gained interest from some top teams around Scotland as a youngster – darts has always been a part of his life thanks to his parents and he certainly has the potential to be a real star in the game.
So, read on about the above and more for our exclusive Cameron Menzies interview and profile, the first in our series, ahead of the 2018 BDO World Championship from January 6-14…
Cameron Menzies profile
Date of birth: 27/06/1989 (age 28)
Place of birth: Glasgow
Walk-on song: Not sure as of yet
Darts used: Datadart icon 24g
Management company/sponsors: N/A
Twitter handle: @CameronMenzies
Favourite double: 20 or 16
Favourite checkout: 170
Favourite tournament: Welsh Open
Favourite country/city played in: Prague
Toughest players faced: Krzysztof Ratajski, Andy Boulton
Players to watch in future: Nathan Girvan, and a few of Scotland’s youth players
Sports/darts hero(es) growing up: Jorg Albertz (ex-Rangers and Germany footballer)
Best mates in darts: My family
Favourite food: Steak
Favourite films/TV shows: Braveheart, Saving Private Ryan
Favourite bands/musicians: Bastille, Swedish House Mafia
Hobbies outside of darts: Playing football and computer
Current/previous day job: Plumber
Ultimate darting ambition: Win the Worlds and to get good enough to go professional and play on big stages consistently
Cameron Menzies interview
First of all, how excited are you ahead of your first World Championship? What are your aims for the event?
I am really excited as it’s been something I have dreamed of as a kid.
I never thought I would get there so I am hoping for a deep run in the tournament and make it worth my while travelling.
It’s been a great year for you, but what’s your overall assessment of your current game, and do you have belief you can challenge for Major titles more and more in the near future?
My game has improved but I have been putting more effort on the practice board over the last two years or so, with good people I practise with, and it’s improved my game massively.
Plus playing against top players on the circuit has improved me as well.
I believe I can push the best in the BDO on my game. So you never know what can happen.
What do you credit your form since winning the British Open last year down to?
I just believed I could give players a game.
I started winning against the best and started believing that I could beat these players, rather than hoping.
By winning the 2017 Scottish Open, you of course emulated your hero Gary Anderson who won it a decade ago. Describe your emotions on the day and how it was to then play him at the 2017 Grand Slam.
The Scottish Open was massive for me to win. It’s played over two days, and I beat some good players on the road to win.
That night was good as friends and family stayed to watch it.
Playing Gary [at the Grand Slam] was the game I wanted, he’s arguably Scotland’s greatest and my idol so it was the dream draw for me.
Your match against Berry van Peer was also well documented. You showed great sportsmanship at the end after seeing him suffer with dartitis, but how hard was it for you to face him and to narrowly miss out on reaching the last 16?
My dad had dartitis so I do respect what he goes through. Maybe too much.
Maybe [it was] a bit of inexperience from me. But I have never had to deal with it in a pressure situation as that.
[It was a] big learning curve for me. I usually respect everyone. I was just happy being there, [but] losing hurt massively and I sat myself down for 10 minutes until I calmed down.
You’ve certainly made a huge impression in darts, both at the Grand Slam and in the BDO, and are gaining more and more fans. What was the overall response from social media like, and how was your experience of the event in general?
My adrenaline goes haywire when I get onto a bigger stage, and it makes me hyper.
I would love to be calm and collected, but my heart races so I can’t stand still. Always have to be doing something.
I loved the experience, from the PDC staff to commentators and players. I loved every moment, a dream come true for me and my best experience as a darter as of yet.
Fans have been great, I’ve tried to message everyone back on Facebook – it has been hectic, but I have loved it.
You’ve hinted before that you’d be interested in eventually joining the PDC when the time is right. Do you now have a better idea of the standard and whether you’re ready to switch over? And is Q-School a possibility in January?
I think the standard is amazing. I think I could go there and do ok, [and] I do believe playing those kind of players more often would bring my game on massively.
I will deal with Finder and Lakeside and then have a sit down and see what my future holds – it is on my mind especially after the Grand Slam.
[There is a] long time to think about it before I make the choice.
You’ve stated before that your darts-playing parents played a big part in you taking up the sport. But at what stage did you believe you could make it in the game?
After I won the Scottish Open this year, which was my first ranking tournament, I went to work the next day and looked at other tournaments.
And from there I just wanted to travel more and see how far I am from [qualifying for] Lakeside, so it’s been more these last few months I have started believing.
I’d always played football rather than darts til the last few years.
Can you tell us more about your football playing career?
I was semi-pro, but not enough for a living. But I had been told scouts from top teams were interested in me, so I stuck to football. Never came to anything.
I did get told about them but I also missed games to play darts, so that didn’t help.
You’re also a big Rangers fan, but what do you make of their season so far? Are you hopeful they’ll eventually get back to winning ways and challenge Celtic again for the title in the coming seasons?
I hope we improve soon. Rangers lost again at the weekend (2-1 away to Dundee). I try to get to games when I can but it’s been hard with all the darts.
Hopefully we get a manager soon and start getting a better team, as the team we have isn’t good enough to challenge Celtic. They (Celtic) keep getting better and it looks like we’re getting worse unfortunately.
I’m hoping next year we push Celtic as they’re laughing all the way to 10 [league titles] in a row.
And finally, are there any standout World Championship moments you remember watching in the past, which perhaps personally inspired you?
There’ve been so many Championships. [Wayne] Mardle’s win against Taylor [at the 2008 PDC Worlds] I remember. And Ted Hankey’s 170 to beat Ronnie Baxter [in the 2000 BDO Worlds final].
I’ve always liked watching Gary Anderson even in the BDO. [He’s] just great to watch.
Many thanks to Cameron for speaking to us this week, and best of luck for the future! Join us next time for part 2 of our BDO Worlds interview series.