By Phil Lanning
GERWYN PRICE vows he is “still the man” as he gets set to return to the oche after a three-month absence.
The world champion was ruled-out of the Unibet Premier League after a positive Covid-19 test just hours before his opening match.
Price, 36, admits he’s been “angry” at having to watch from the sidelines as fellow countryman Jonny Clayton won the league and £250k jackpot.
Now he returns for the PDC Super Series next Monday and admits: “I’m still the man. I’m world No.1, I’m world champ. I haven’t played for three months, people can win tournaments without the world champion in. Jonny’s a fantastic player but I believe if I was in it, I would have won it.
“I’m just angry at not being able to play, not angry at any of the players or at the dartboard. I’ll go out and be myself. You need to have aggression but it needs to be controlled aggression. If I’m going out there frustrated and wanting to prove a point, then I’m just going to go backwards.
“I’ll be myself and do what I’ve done over the past couple of years and try and win games.
“It is what it is. I’ve had to deal with it. Yes I’m disheartened and a little bit peed off. There’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve just got to be a bit more positive and look forward to the rest of the year.
“I was doing the same thing week-in, week-out. All I was doing was going to work outside, doing some patio work with my brother. I never changed anything, I was seeing the same people. It’s just a weird virus and it can just get you unannounced and anybody can get it.”
Price also admits that he is looking forward to playing in front of fans at the World Matchplay next month and getting the boos after being forced to practice in his kitchen.
He added: “I don’t care if I get cheers or if I get boos. As long as I’m up on that stage playing, the crowd is there and the atmosphere is there. That’s all I’m looking forward to.
“I’ve had boos as good as the worst of them, I’ll just deal with it again. As long as I’m not sat in my house, or on a digger or hitting walls down, I’m just looking forward to getting darts back in my hand.
“I’ve been practising really well in my kitchen. You don’t win games, tournaments or majors from your kitchen. You need to do it on the main stage or on the ProTour. I need to get back into it playing against the best, getting that confidence back. Not that I’ve lost any confidence because I haven’t played. It’s just anxious times not knowing how I’m going to play in the first one or two games.”
Price does property renovation away from the oche and admits he’s fortunate that he had something to take his mind off the Premier League.
He said: “I was laying a lawn at the end of a project. I’m lucky that I had things to take my mind off everything else. If I was just sat in the house, overthinking everything I would have gone nuts. I’ve been a bit too busy.
“I think over the past two years I haven’t been 100 per cent darts, maybe only 80 per cent. But I’m going to put properties on the back burner for a couple of years and give darts 100 per cent concentration which will be quite dangerous I think.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.