This months Darts World Print Edition features an extended interview with Glen Durrant. After looking at Duzza’s remarkable 2019 season they settled down to a more general conversation covering career, game management, the relevance of age and much more (grab yours here:http://www.dartsworld.com/product/magazine/) here is part II:
In conversation Glen Durrant is a relaxed, jovial and measured person. We spoke a couple of days after his selection for the Premier League and he seemed delighted to have been chosen and looking forward to the challenge.
JR: Let’s start at the conclusion of your amazing year, how did you find out about getting into the Premier League and how do you feel about it.
GD: Delighted! It was a beautiful day! its superb to be in and, after my appearance last year, I am really looking forward to it. I really did not want to know in advance, I even told my manager not to tell me before the official announcement. I even took myself off to Catterick Races for the day as a distraction and a way of not getting too worried about it. Finally, he cracked and called me and I told him to tell me if he knew, then I just had to keep quiet for an hour or two.
JR: Congratulations again. I have followed your transition closely over the last couple of years and wondered, Did you have a blueprint or plan for how to approach the PDC system.
GD: I had contemplated switching before and had I not progressed at Lakeside I may well have done. Been the contract, with the BDO, insisted that £100k would have to be returned and I was in a very good place. Had circumstances not changed, at my age, I would have stayed in the BDO. But Des Jacklin changed the rules and allowed BDO players to make the attempt at Q School, and other events, without penalty and it seemed perfect for me.
JR: Q-School must have been very tough, especially after winning the World Crown and with little time between the two.
GD: It was the scrutiny level was very high, especially after the first couple of days, and that’s not really me. I am more of a backroom guy. I am looking forward to popping in this year and supporting Jim Williams.
JR: I recall Dean Winstanley saying that he returned the year after he gained a card to watch other sweat it out!
GD: I can reiterate that I think he might have had a point!
JR: You mentioned age earlier, what effect do you think age has on players in the modern game?
GD: There is a general fitness question, things like aches and pains that people suffer more of, you have to change your regime. No six-hour practices, like I used to! You must consider eye-sight. But there are plenty of a similar age.
JR: Many sports, including darts, seem to be expanding the age at which player can perform at the highest level. Phil Taylor was in his mid-fifties and still on top. Peter Wright has just won his world championship at 49/50.
GD: I am good friends with Peter he has given me good advice and I am delighted for him. I really hope your right, but I also wish I was twenty-odd!
JR: Its unusual, even unique for an elite darts player to have had a very successful long-term career in another industry. How has thirty plus years helped your darts, especially this year.
GD: The ethos of darts now being my job and treating it as one. Funnily enough Peter Wright gave me that advice as well. The work ethic, obviously and to appreciate the value of everything that is earned. It really values and attitude.
JR: I remember, the fine Yorkshire player, Chris Thompson had a career as a solicitor but I can’t recall many others.
GD: Ah ‘The Hitman’ I knew Chris well, fine player, better than me.
JR: Really, better than you? GD: Yeah, in the old days, back in the North, Chris was a great player, far better than me.
GD: The guys that still work fulltime amaze me, Darren Webster, for example. Hard physical graft all week they go and win professional dart matches. Now that’s tough.
JR: I notice that the PDC seem to have involved you, to a greater extent, in their marketing and public relations activities. Was that an additional strain or pressure.
GD: Not really, I have spent a long time managing one of the toughest estates in the north-east. I have dealt with speaking in public, the press and other organisations. I am familiar with marketing speak and the corporarte side of things, so it’s not such a chore. It’s certainly a lot better than working for 40-50 hours a week and I still make sure I get my time on the board.
I am a fairly boring guy and don’t really do razzmatazz so these sorts of things don’t have a great effect on me.
JR: Having bumped into you, on occasion over the last couple of years, you always seemed quite sombre during events, I wonder? Did you manage to enjoy the experience of the PDC?
GD: I try to treat it like a job, Peter’s advice again, I know that I have five years to achieve as much as I can. I have also learned that my best game is limited adrenalin. The best fun is success and achieving your ambitions.
JR: Low adrenalin?
GD: Staying calm and not getting too worked up or distracted.
JR: Remarkably, you changed darts mid-way through the season, to Target, and seemed to adjust instantly?
GD: Yeah, Target have been great, because I use a glorified Bristow barrel it’s not like reinventing the wheel. I really wanted a back-to basic dart. So, although I looked at all sorts of designs and colours, even an orange one, I really wanted a silver coloured dart with few alterations.
JR: Did you get a bit of time to get used to them?
GD: Yes one of the advantages of no longer working full time is that I have some time for that. There may be another edition of my dart along soon, perhaps a gen2?
GD: I have always fancied trying Std flights and seeing if they add anything.
JR: Funnily enough our resident coach thinks you might be suited to a small std, he goes on and on about it!
GD: You never know, I might get around to it.
JR: With the BDO Championships about to take place how do you feel about not being there and your decision to try the PDC.
GD: It will feel unusual but I wish everyone the very best, I love the BDO, and am grateful to it, it has allowed me to fulfill all my darting dreams and I will always be part of it. I am in a beautiful place, it’s been a fantastic year, I suppose I got to turn my hobby into my job and loved every minute of it.
I am looking forward to a nice break before hitting the board before the Premier League.
JR: Thank-you for your thoughts, speak again this time next year!
The excerpts above are from an extended conversion. We covered many different areas with Glen who was very generous with his time. He even called us back after his wife needed assistance in tracking down a receipt. No ‘big time’ in Glen’s house! JR Lott.