By Phil Lanning
JONNY CLAYTON reckons the debutants have been putting “pressure on the old heads” in the Premier League.
The welsh wizard will be going all-out to end Gary Anderson’s title hat-trick hopes when they clash in Milton Keynes on Monday night.
Clayton, 46, is currently in fifth place but needs a win to jump into the top four and also dump the Scot as fans return to darts.
Anderson vowed that the return of crowds would sort out the “men from the boys”, especially the new PL stars Clayton, Dimitri Van den Bergh and Jose de Sousa.
But Clayton said: “The debutants have played good darts in the Premier League. We’ve been putting pressure on the old heads. Let’s see what happens when fans return.
“It shouldn’t change me with fans back. I’ve played in the Premier League with huge crowds as a contender. We’ll soon find out this week!”
A year ago Clayton swapped his usual plastering job for delivering food parcels for isolating families in the full pandemic lockdown for Carmarthenshire Council.
Now he could win £250,000 by the end of the week and admits he does feel privileged to have such an opportunity.
He added: “I’m one of the lucky ones I have a job and a career in darts. The world has been shut down by Covid-19.
“But I’m lucky because I can make serious money. It obviously makes you think, you look at people who have lost family members and jobs. It’s not been a nice year.
“However the last 12 months have been kind to me. Now I’ve got to look at the future and concentrate on getting better.
“There’s been a lot of people who have not been able to leave their houses for over a year. At the council we were just a help, just doing my job.
“To see the smiles on people’s faces when delivering food parcels, that touched a spot. It’s hard to look at some people and think my life is great. But some people’s lives are not as good. I’m just one of the lucky ones and that’s the way I look at life.
“I don’t think I’m anyone special, it’s just my job and what I do. I have a job at the council and a job playing darts. I’m just Jonny.”
Clayton has been on fire since winning the World Cup with Gerwyn Price last year – adding the Masters title and being handed a Premier League place.
He admits that victory gave him so much belief, adding: “Winning the World Cup was my proudest moment in darts, bigger than the Masters. To be part of a team with Gerwyn Price and represent Wales, to bring that cup home. That was a feeling I will never ever forget.
“That tournament was massive for me. The first Welshman to win the PDC World Cup. It’s given me confidence.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.