CHRIS DOBEY admits that he’s been inspired to grab his first major after Dimitri van den Bergh’s World Matchplay glory.
The Bedlington battler is back in big time action when the Unibet Premier League returns in Milton Keynes on August 25.
Dobes, 30, was set to be the next PL contender before lockdown at his home city venue in Newcastle.
Now it’s been switched to the Marshall Arena and he’s got added incentive to deliver after watching the Belgian take the big title with a win over his mentor Gary Anderson.
“Dimitri puts a lot of time and effort in and staying with Jo and Peter Wright during lockdown would have helped him as well.
“Dimitri dedicates himself to the game, doing all the right things. It’s paid off for him. His best game is on the stage, a bit like myself.
“Once we play well on the floor as well, then we can show what we’re about.
“His win has definitely inspired me. I think he was 26 in the world and jumped to No.12. Nathan Aspinall did that two years ago as well. It just shows that anyone can win.
“You dedicate yourself, you get that one big win and you then can kick on with confidence. My aim is that I can do exactly the same. It’s about time I started winning something!”
Dobey, managed by Scot Tommy Gilmour, would have faced Glen Durrant in a Tyne-Tees darting derby in March but now takes on Daryl Gurney later this month.
But he’s keen to start delivering silverware to the Dobey mantelpiece after getting close with semi-final appearances in last year’s Grand Prix and Players Championship.
“It’s obviously good to get some more playing time but I’m gutted I’m not playing the Premier League in front of my home crowd. I did it last year and I’ll hopefully get that chance again.
“I haven’t played for a few weeks now, I missed out on the Matchplay so the other players have had that experience of the no crowd system.
“I thought that worked well though, it’s hard to watch when you’re not playing in the event. It was a bit painful.
“But as long as we’re back playing darts I’m happy.
“It’s been up and down obviously. I did OK at the start of the year in the UK Open and playing well carrying on from the end of last year.
“I’d started making really progress with the two semi-finals. Now hopefully we can get going again, get a few good results and really kick on.
“It’s better to gradually get better and better. You see the likes of Rob Cross winning the World Championship in his first year and now he’s expected to win all these things. It must be hard for him having that pressure on his shoulders.
“I know I can do it, it’s just getting over that final hurdle. I’ve reached two semi-finals, now the target is a final and getting my first PDC title.”
Images by Taylor Lanning