Lewis Williams has recently become the latest addition to Team Target’s playing staff. Eighteen-year-old Lewis has joined the Elite 1 team that could be described as Target’s development squad.
Although Lewis came to wider attention during the 2020 UK Open ‘The Boardroom’ has been aware for some time that more than one of the major brand names were keeping tabs on the Swansea youngster. It is with mild surprise that we note Williams will not follow the same path as other Welsh talents in recent years.
On a wider level, the signing seems to confirm that Target are focused more on the up and coming side of the game than they are on making more ‘major signings’. Recent times have seen the balance of ‘Team Target’ change from superstar heavy to a more balanced outfit.
The retirements of Phil Taylor and RVB together with the departure of Chizzy and Alan Norris marked a change in appearance. The Elite 1 squad, overseen by Daryl Fitton, has an impressive array of young talent, both UK based and international, many of whom have already made quite an impression.
Players such as Jared Cole, Leighton Bennett & Keane Barry have already picked up titles in their age groups and done damage at the senior level.
The Boardroom will be interested to see how this model plays out as the players mature and develop. There is an individual element to darts that can work against the concept of a ‘Team’ or squad. There is also the possibility that, as in football, the other manufacturers simply view Target as the nursery for their future signings?
Lewis Williams may provide a very good example of how this strategy will work on a long term basis. Judging from his previous success, and rate of improvement, it will not be long until he will be looking to enter the ranks of those who are sponsored under their own name and enjoy the privileges, and income, that this affords.