By Phil Lanning
GERWYN PRICE admits he will take all the jeers from the boo-boys after being banned from wearing headphones on stage.
The Welshman stunned the oche world when he donned the headphones during his World Championship quarter-final defeat to Gabriel Clemens on New Year’s Day.
But the Professional Darts Corporation confirmed they have ratified a new rule to stop players being able to use them during matches.
On the eve of his Premier League clash tonight (Thurs) against Nathan Aspinall, Price was open about the subject. He said: “I wore them once, I won’t be wearing them again and it’s best left at that, if I’m honest.
“I’m not a fan of earplugs, so from now on I’m just going to take whatever comes my way, like I have for the last couple of years, and just focus on playing darts.
“There’s nothing else to say about it: I’m just concentrating on this Premier League, and whatever’s happened in the past I would appreciate it if people would stop talking about it because I tried something, it didn’t work and we move on.
“I’m here to play darts, to do the best I can – whatever is thrown at me – but I’m looking forward to Belfast. I’m sure I’ll get a decent reception here after doing as well as I did last year, and hopefully I can reward the crowd with some more good darts, hopefully with another one or two nine-darters as well.”
After his Worlds defeat to Clemens and headphones hullaballoo, Price also stated that he might not play at the Ally Pally again.
But he added: “I’d rather just focus on the Premier League, if I’m honest, rather than all that other stuff.”
Price has failed to win the Premier League thus far and not even made the finals night – yet produced the best performance a year ago with two nine-darters on one night in Belfast.
He said: “I hit back-to-back nine-darters in Belfast last year but then I broke my hand after the UK Open and it went downhill from there. Fingers crossed I stay fully fit for this campaign and start with a bang.
“It gets mentioned now and again, but as long as I keep playing that well I’m not too bothered. If I can keep plodding along and picking up trophies now and again, that’s the main thing.”
Price also dismissed any desire to reclaim his World No.1 spot from new World Champ Michael Smith.
He added: “That’s not my priority – if I win tournaments, everything else will take care of itself. I’ve been world No.1, I’ve been world champion and I’m not saying I wouldn’t like to get there again, but if I keep fit and healthy, and in good form, that’s the main thing.
“I’m here to play and here to win, right here and right now. We start in Belfast, where I did well last year, and on to Cardiff next week – hopefully it’s going to be a better year for me in the Premier League.
“I’m hungry to do well over the next 10, 12, 16 weeks and as long as I keep that hunger then I’ll be all right.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.