By Phil Lanning
MICHAEL SMITH admitted he was “hurt” after being left out of the Premier League but has vowed to fight back.
The former World Youth champ was a shock omission from the prestigious 16-week tournament back in January.
Smith, 30, who finished runner-up three years ago was clearly rocked by the decision but he has wants to use the setback as a motivation and also admits that he wears his heart on his sleeve too much.
The World No.8 revealed: “I say what I think and I get a backlash for that. I’m not going to change as a person, I speak from my heart and mind. I really don’t think that’s a bad thing to be honest.
“I was devastated and hurt not to be picked for the Premier League, I admit that. It knocked my belief and I didn’t think I deserved to be left out.
“I reached the final of the Masters in 2020, reached the World Cup final, hit a nine-darter in the Premier League and did OK in a difficult year. The previous year I was runner-up in the Worlds and Matchplay and I’m still above four players in the league in the rankings.
“But I’m not being disrespectful about those players or the PDC. I just felt I had done enough. I’m genuinely just frustrated at myself more than anything. It’s impatience to get to where I want to be. Sometimes I say stuff and it comes out wrong and people jump on me for it.
“I said to Dimitri after I beat him in the Super Series that I need that win over him for my own belief. I wasn’t being nasty or anything. But it came out all wrong!
“I have to learn to take setbacks in my stride, I’m getting better at that. I’ve hit the reset button and to start again. I need to go back to winning floor tournaments, which I have done, and show what I can do.
“Players like Adrian (Lewis), Gary (Anderson) and Peter (Wright) have all had Premier League low points with not being selected or relegation. They then came back fighting and went on to be World Champions. Sometimes that can act as a really good motivation. I will aim to do that.”
Smith, 30, has used the extra time to renovate his new house and to add an incredible amount of livestock including 18 chickens, nine ducks, five dogs, four geese and turkeys, a horse and pony.
He added: “I’ve enjoyed the extra time with my wife and kids, really amazing quality time. We’ve got a house full now and once we’ve finished the land we are going to add more.
“I’ve had a lot of time to think about my future and I’m hungrier than ever to get it right. I’ve been very close to winning big tournaments. My timing in finals hasn’t been good enough but I believe that will come.
“I don’t think you can judge players on form or averages anymore. It’s just what happens on the night. I’ve done everything right in tournaments but just not in the final. But that will change with experience and a bit more luck.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.