Normality is almost upon us

By Emma Paton 19/07/2021

I'M going to start my first column with...LLONGYFARCHIADAU JONNY CLAYTON!!! (That’s congratulations Jonny Clayton for our non-Welsh readers). I’m writing this a few weeks after The Ferret lifted the Premier League trophy in Milton Keynes and what a night it was.

From being the last man added to the line-up, to clinching a top-four spot on Night 16, to then beating Michael van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa on Finals Night. What a story!! I think anyone who was working at the Marshall Arena left on a high on the Friday night after that brilliant conclusion to a fantastic two months of darts, but also after having the fans back. It really felt like proper darts had returned. For me, presenting darts with a crowd for the first time was something I’ll never forget. The noise, the buzz, the energy in the arena. I mean where else would you see the Pope chatting to Snow White, next to a table of leprechauns, talking to some traffic cones whilst all belting out Mr. Brightside?! I’ll wait.....

I can’t not mention Jose de Sousa. If anyone is worthy of a mention in my first column, I’d say it’s him! At the time of writing this – just weeks after finishing runner-up at the Premier League (and doing outrageous stuff on the way) - The Special One has just won back-to-back Pro Tour Titles, fired in an outrageous 127 average and broken the record for the most 180s hit in a single Pro Tour event with 34.

He’s so consistent and just full of confidence, he sort of gets into his own zone and you can see there is zero doubt in his game. He’s loving life and I hope he takes that form into the World Matchplay.

Talking of the World Matchplay…the countdown is well and truly on! We now know there’ll be a limited number of fans for the first couple of days (hopefully things won’t change again before this is published!) but I’m sure we all can’t wait to have a full crowd back at the iconic Winter Gardens.

Normality is almost upon us!!

Emma Paton is a Sky Sports Presenter ( @MissemmaPaton)
This column was originally published in Darts World Magazine (Issue 575)
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