World number three Gerwyn Price talked through his chances at the World Darts Championship.
World number three Gerwyn Price gave his thoughts ahead of the World Darts Championship, where he’s currently the third favourite. He’s confident this year and expecting a good run. He also spoke about his love for greyhound racing and his involvement in the sport.
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How do you feel coming into this year’s world championships?
I’ve been playing really, really well all this year so I’m full of confidence. After the Players Championships two weeks ago I needed a break to recharge my batteries. For two weeks, I’ve barely picked up a dart, maybe twenty minutes in an evening. I’ve played enough darts all year to know my head and game is where it needs to be and after a bit of a break I’m feeling good and ready to go now.
You’re a general 5-1 shot to take this year’s prize - is that a fair price?
I think I should be in the top three of the betting, which I am. I think the bookies are running a bit scared of Michael, especially as he’s finding a bit of form again now and I’d be scared of him as well. He’s a great player, great lad. When he’s firing on all cylinders there’s no reason why he can’t go and win it but likewise, there’s no reason if I’m on my game I can't win it or Peter Wright. I should be in the top two or three in the betting.
Peter Wright is also amongst the favourites and was the man who knocked you out at the semi-final stage last year, do you have anything up your sleeve that can rival his Grinch get up?
No, I'm up there to play darts, I’m not there to dress up. I know it’s Christmas and it’s festive but to be honest with you I don’t agree with it. It’s good fun but there's no crowd there, I just feel sorry for Steve West or anyone who has to play him, it’s a bit off putting. I’d understand more if there was a crowd there but as there wasn’t I don’t understand it really.
Keen to avenge the Peter Wright defeat?
I’m in a better state of mind and learnt a lot from that game. I’m more prepared, more experienced and not worried about who I take on just how I play.
2020 has been a difficult year - with no fans at the Palace how will that affect you and your performance? Being a pantomime villain at times will this play into your hands?
I’m not too bothered, I would love the crowd to be there, the party atmosphere all adds to it. To be honest with you I love watching the darts, but this year it doesn’t seem the same. I know we’ve played other tournaments with no fans but being the Worlds, the Christmas atmosphere and fans is what it’s all about. And the players aren’t performing half as well either, to be honest, I think the standard so far this year is not anywhere near its best.
The players need to play well to entertain, but without the crowd, the energy is lacking and there's a lot of players who look grumpy. It’s not doom and gloom if you lose the game, enjoy it a bit. I’m one of the worst losers for 20 to 30 minutes after the game but it’s not the end of the world especially with everything going on. It doesn’t feel right without a crowd and that's possibly why some players are winning tournaments now unexpectedly - not that they’re not good players but I’m not convinced they could still win if there is a crowd.
How did you first get involved in greyhound racing?
Years ago in Wales there was an independent flapping track.There was an old man that lived in the village who had one dog and I’d walk up to the track with him and his dog. His greyhound would race and he would pay me a fiver to walk it back. It all stemmed from there really and I just grew a love for greyhounds over the years.
I have bought a few dogs but I never buy anything expensive. I like to get pups and work them yourself as you get a greater thrill when they do well on the track, rather than someone else doing all the work instead. I’ve got a little bitch who races at Hove who won Greyhound of the Month at Romford which was a proud moment. She ran a low 35 over 575 which was good for her - it was a real achievement. All being well, we hope to have a litter from her one day.
How often do you get to visit/see the dogs whether at the kennels or on a race track?
I try and see them race as much as I can. I saw Hello Julie race a couple of months back, but obviously because of the lockdown I’ve not really had the chance to get down there as much as I would like. If Grandslam Champ comes on and the lockdown eases I’d like to get to the track more often.
How does the thrill of seeing your dogs win compare to winning on the oche?
It’s exactly the same. You can feel the adrenaline running through your veins. When those lids ping and you’re wondering how your dog is going to break. Are you going to have a winner? It's the same buzz. I love it. That's what I live for and it’s the same thrillI get when winning tournaments on TV.
You’ve proved to be amongst the best in the world in two sports - is there a future professional greyhound trainer in you?
I haven’t got much time at the moment, but years down the line when darts is over - definitely! I’ve been thinking I’d love to get some kennels but I haven’t had the time yet myself at the moment. Further down the line when I have more time on my hands I’ll definitely set up some sort of kennels and get a training licence and I'm coming for the Derby!
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