By Phil Lanning
NATHAN ASPINALL has vowed he will never be intimidated by loud stage rivals Gerwyn Price and Michael van Gerwen.
The Stockport star is third in the Unibet Premier League table after the first block, locked on six points with Dimitri Van den Bergh, Michael van Gerwen and Peter Wright.
Aspinall, 29, should have beaten Van Gerwen on Friday night but had to settle for a draw and wasn’t deterred by the Dutchman’s booming celebrations.
He said: “I’m from Stockport, no one intimidates us!
“I’ve been through so much s*** in my life, being blunt. It’s a game of darts, it’s a lad shouting at me. OK he might be a World Champion or a multi-millionaire, to me you’re just a guy shouting at me.
“That’s how I approach it. If you want to play those games I’ll shout at you. That’s how I went into it three years ago when I started playing Gezzy and Michael (Van Gerwen).
“It happened in the Worlds match with Gez a couple of years ago. I got a lot of respect for that. Gezzy gets a lot of stick for what he does, I’m just as bad. The difference is I’ve not got muscles on muscles. I look a bit dweeby compared to Gezzy!
“It is intimidating but I don’t care what people think or what people see the image. It’s about me on that stage.
“You can scream all you want, and it is intimidating, it really is. But I’ve been in a lot more worse situations that Gerwyn Price shouting at me on a stage, I can assure you.
“I never doubt myself, everyone else doubts me when I do interviews, people write me off, Sky write me off. Everyone knows that I’m a fighter. I’m believe I’m the toughest player in darts. I never give up.
“I’ve had a dip in form but I’m still playing well. All it took was a good couple of results to get my swagger going, if you know what I mean. I feel fantastic and confident every time I go on that stage, I feel like I can win.
“I pay a lot of attention to what the pundits say, could be one of my downfalls. I always look on Twitter because things spur me on. Yet again I’ve proved a lot of people wrong.”
Aspinall did admit he is worried about having another Covid test next Sunday night before the next block of matches after seeing World Champ Price ruled out a week ago after being positive.
He added: “I’m dreading it, I won’t lie. There’s nothing I can do other than keep doing what I am. I’m going to play golf but that’s outside and I don’t really mix with anyone.
“I’ll continue to stick to the rules that I’ve been set and just hope to God I’m OK.
“It will be another sleepless night. It’s rubbish but there’s nothing we can do.
“Gerwyn not being in it was a big loss for darts and for the pundits and fans. He’s the World Champion and World No.1 and I do feel sorry for Gez.
“But it could have been any one of us. I didn’t sleep that night waiting for the test results last week. It will be same again next Sunday when I come back here. It’s out of our hands, nothing we can do apart from do our best to be safe.”
Images by Taylor Lanning