Bunting: I just didn’t want to be there anymore…

Red Dragon Darts

Reigning Masters champion Stephen Bunting has confided that he almost quit darts completely during his three-year winless spell at the World Darts Championship, citing his decision to see a sports psychologist as the main reason behind his resurgence.

Speaking on William Hill’s brand-new darts YouTube show, Club 501, hosted by pundit and commentator Wayne Mardle, Bunting said: “Five or six years ago I was thinking about just walking away from darts. I was walking into venues feeling like people were laughing at me and I just didn’t want to be there anymore. My form was so bad and I was going home and taking it out on my family. I needed to do something.

“I went to see a sports psychologist and he trained my brain to think about the positives, because every time I was playing darts it was all negative. That was a massive help. I have progressed since then and I’m now seeing a hypnotherapist as well which is really helping and it’s taken my game to another level.”

I’m better than ever before and chasing Premier League spot

Bunting reached the fourth round of the latest edition of the PDC World Darts Championship, before landing his first PDC major title, the Masters, back in February, and the 39-year-old believes that his game is currently in a better place than it was back in 2014 when he won the BDO World Darts Championship, singling out a return to the Premier League as his next target.

“I believe I’m better now than I was when I won the world title 10 years ago,” he said. “I feel like a better player and my form is very consistent, which it needs to be to win any title. I won my first major on the PDC this year at the Masters and to win that was a special moment for me, especially given the way I did it beating Michael van Gerwen in the final.

“I believe there’s a lot more to come from me. I’m more confident these days than what I have been in the past and that’s a stepping stone for more success. I’m trying to get back into the Premier League and I believe my game is only going in one direction at the moment.”

I cried when Jürgen Klopp announced Liverpool departure

Bunting is a lifelong Liverpool fan and when questioned about his reaction to Jürgen Klopp’s departure earlier this year, he admitted to crying when he found out. However, “The Bullet” is hopeful that new boss Arne Slot can deliver success at Anfield next season.

“I cried when I found out Jürgen Klopp was leaving Liverpool,” said Bunting. “It actually felt like I’d lost a family member. When I watched the video I thought it was going to be a joke, but when I heard the statement it was gut-wrenching to be honest. He means that much to the people of Liverpool because of what he’s done for the city and the team.

“It is a massive pair of shoes to fill but hopefully Arne Slot can shake things up a bit and get the team playing in the way we all know they can. I would hope some of the key players don’t leave with Klopp, but there’s nothing the fans can do about it. The club seems to be going in the right direction and hopefully in the transfer market we can make a few good deals.”


Image: PDC

Watch the full episode here: https://www.youtube.com/@Club501WithWayneMardl


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