What’s subsequent for Jonny Clayton following his Premier League Darts triumph?



Clayton shall be bidding to say his third main televised title of 2021 at July’s World Matchplay

“I’ve all the time stated after I walked into rooms you get a bit star-struck with all the massive gamers, however I’ve labored arduous and I am up there with one of the best now.”

Having added the Premier League title to his Masters and World Cup successes, Jonny Clayton has established himself as a part of the darting elite, however what’s subsequent for The Ferret?

The affable Welshman loved arguably the most important evening of his profession final Friday – defeating Michael van Gerwen and Jose De Sousa to scoop the £250,000 prime prize in Milton Keynes.

It noticed the 46-year-old turn into the primary Welshman to raise the coveted Premier League crown and the second consecutive debutant to triumph following Glen Durrant’s victory in October 2020.

Nonetheless, it was quickly again to normality for Clayton – who continues to stability his darting commitments by working as a plasterer for Carmarthenshire County Council.

“It has been a bit completely different, however again in work, again within the instruments right this moment,” Clayton advised the Darts Present podcast on Tuesday.

“The primary query was: ‘Am I nonetheless saying, or am I going to go away?’ he joked.

Clayton actually can’t be accused of papering over the cracks the place his darts are involved. He has carried out magnificently during the last six months to seize three televised titles, however he’s reluctant to vary a successful formulation.

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Jonny Clayton beat Jose de Sousa 11-5 to win the Premier League in his debut season

Jonny Clayton beat Jose de Sousa 11-5 to win the Premier League in his debut season

“I’ve all the time performed my darts whereas working so I do not see why it might assist if I completed? I’m going to go away it as it’s in the meanwhile, and I’ll simply preserve working.”

The Ferret has not emerged from the darting abyss to turn into a prolific winner. He has been on the periphery of the world’s prime 16 since ending runner-up on the Gamers Championship Finals in November 2017.

Nonetheless, his World Cup win alongside world No 1 and world champion Gerwyn Value has seemingly had a domino impact, and Clayton merely attributes his ascent up the ranks to self-belief.

“I feel it’s simply confidence. I do not suppose I’ve modified something. I simply exit and I get pleasure from it. Darts is a sport the place if all the pieces goes your manner, you will get pleasure from it and in the meanwhile, issues are going my manner.”

Sky Sports activities’ Mark Webster – Clayton’s fellow Welshman – hailed the exploits of his compatriot, and he believes the condensed nature of this yr’s event was instrumental in his success.

“It was huge, particularly for my confidence. That win with Gezzy to win the World Cup – I had a style of my first massive event, which was good.”

Clayton – World Cup win was very important

“I stated to him at the beginning of the Premier League: ‘Jonny, you are on a purple patch right here. The Premier League is finished and dusted in six weeks. Maintain it going and you might raise that trophy.’

“I believed nothing of it on the time, however credit score to him; he wins the Premier League and is incomes himself a wholesome residing as effectively.

“If you will win your first Premier League, that’s the technique to do it. He was good and comfy and by no means regarded in any hazard of dropping that remaining.

“Even within the semi-finals, Michael [Van Gerwen] rattled off three legs on the trot in opposition to him, however Jonny was accountable for the Finals Night time and was a deserved Premier League champion.”

Having acquired the tenth and remaining spot following his Masters victory in January, Clayton spoke about greedy doubtlessly his first and final alternative to function within the Premier League.

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An emotional Jonny Clayton was over the moon after successful his first Premier League title in his debut marketing campaign

An emotional Jonny Clayton was over the moon after successful his first Premier League title in his debut marketing campaign

Nonetheless, because the reigning champion, the diminutive Welshman is assured of a spot in subsequent yr’s roadshow; a prospect he’s already relishing.

“It’s a good feeling. I do know I’m in it. I feel the World Championship is the most important [tournament] adopted by the Premier League,” Clayton continued.

“I actually get pleasure from having the followers there. I really like the banter as a result of I’m simply one of many boys. I just like the social gathering ambiance and there was a number of of my pals in that crowd that travelled up from my village – it meant so much.”

The Ferret was a extremely popular winner with the darting public. It isn’t fairly a rags to riches story akin to Rob Cross, nevertheless it’s been a meteoric rise nonetheless for Clayton, and Webster believes there’s lots extra to come back.

“He is likely one of the good guys, mate and I used to be so happy for him. He’s so grounded, and I feel he’s nice for selling the game.

Clayton's first individual major triumph at the Masters saw him secure a last-gasp Premier League place

Clayton’s first particular person main triumph on the Masters noticed him safe a last-gasp Premier League place

“He’s only a common working-class man who will get on with it. He deserves all his achievements and there’s extra to come back for me. I do not see him stopping.

“Whether or not he wins the Matchplay subsequent, I do not know. I do not suppose he’s finished successful main titles, that is for positive.”

Clayton will undoubtedly be among the many favourites to problem for the title on the World Matchplay, though there’s a very practical chance that he shall be unseeded in Blackpool.

Regardless of successful a mixed £310,000 on the Masters and Premier League, he stays world No 17, as each tournaments had been non-ranking occasions, subsequently don’t contribute to the PDC Order of Advantage.

The prospect of Clayton colliding with the likes of Van Gerwen or Value within the opening spherical is a tantalising one, however he’s effectively conscious of the key goal on his again, as he bids to keep away from a fourth consecutive first-round defeat on the Winter Gardens.

“You see the three finals he has gained – clearly one was a pairs occasion for Wales – on the Masters and the Premier League he obtained out in entrance, and I don’t suppose it ever crossed his thoughts what he was going to attain.”

Webster: The Ferret confirmed no worry

“I feel I’d cover for the primary couple of tournaments, preserve it low-key,” he quipped.

“Successful the Premier League has gone – we’re again to work as regular now – it is again to the ground. You’ve got to overlook about final week.

“It’s good that the Welsh are having success on the minute. Clearly Gezzy [Price] as world No 1 and world champion, that’s huge.

“I am simply attempting to observe in his footsteps. Mark [Webster] is a world champion. Richie Burnett is a world champion. It’s simply good to get my title up on the highest with these guys.”

Darts is again in your Sky Sports activities screens in July, with 9 days of protection from the long-lasting Winter Gardens and the World Matchplay – the motion will get underway on Saturday July 17





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