By Phil Lanning
JAMES WADE has vowed he can be “dangerous” and win the Unibet Premier League after a shock last-gasp call-up.
The ten-times TV title winner takes the place of World Champion Gerwyn Price who was ruled out this morning after a positive Covid-19 test.
Wade, 38 on Tuesday, is the most recent major champ after taking the UK Open last month and now will play Gary Anderson tonight in a bid to regain the title he last won in 2009.
The Machine could pick up a cool £250,000 as PL winner but at least £30k for finishing tenth and relegated.
Wade revealed: “I was a reserve anyway for the Premier League so I came up last night and had my test. I’ve arranged to do lots of things at home and then had the phone call this morning saying you’re not going anywhere, you’re staying unfortunately one of the other players has failed a test.
“It is great for me but a shame for the player who didn’t pass the test, I wish him well and hope he’s alright.
“I still want to be here, I still want to win. Hopefully I proved that a few weeks ago. I’ve still got the hunger, I’ve still got the desire. But sometimes I haven’t got the right mindset. That’s part and parcel of my game. It is what it is.
“If I can start off this week alright and be keen, I could be a dangerous player in the Premier League.
“I know what I’m capable of. I haven’t touched a dart since the last time I played. But I’m not a prolific practice person so hopefully that won’t make much of a difference. After a game or two I should be back into the swing of things.
“I know I’m good enough to win it. So do the other nine people unfortunately. But I’ll have a good go I’m pretty sure.
“I think if you start off well you should have a bit of momentum with the games close to each other. But if you don’t start well that might be the same snowball effect as well. There’s not much i haven’t experienced in the world of darts.
“I’m pretty sure me and everybody else will adapt to it just fine and we’ll see what happens.”
Wade stated at the Masters that he did want a place in the Premier League but it wasn’t to be and then he picked up the UK Open.
But he warned the newcomers that the league can also be a career killer. He added: “I don’t think anyone’s entitled to be in it. I don’t think anyone’s got a given right to be in it. The Premier League is an entertainment.
“The powers above pick who is more entertainment for the people viewing. Unfortunately I wasn’t in that one. But I’ve been lucky enough to be shoed in through the back door. Hopefully I can upset some people and make some results that go my way.
“You can make your mark, it can also break you which we’ve seen it do to three or four players. It literally has turned their career off.
“The players who have won tournaments this year, would all of them had won in front of crowds, I don’t know.
“Are they all amazing players, yes. Time will tell. I hope everyone in the Premier League has a good time and has some good games. I hope it doesn’t switch anyone’s game off and it can.
“I think 12 years ago I had a different mindset, I was much more focused on darts and darts only. Now I’ve got a family and other things around me. I still want to win just as much. Perhaps my focus isn’t there as much as it used to be. Plus I’m a little bit older.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.