Michael Smith may feel aggrieved by his omission in the Premier League, but he is going about his business to set the record straight.
The Bully Boy had four successful days in the last Super Series in Niedernhausen, winning their first title of 2021 on Sunday.
Away from the bright lights of the Premier League – a competition he had competed in four of the previous five years – he went about his business impressively.
Nonetheless, excluding the 10-player tournament still hurts.
“It’s a really weird feeling. I’m drained of not being in it. I’ve expressed it many times,” he said, echoing a sentiment he expressed after his victory in Germany on Sunday: ” I felt I should be in the Premier League. No disrespect for the 10 players who are in contention, but I felt I should be ahead of them and it was a point for me that I’m still good enough. “
“Michael was very articulate that he should be in front of the players, he should be this, he should be that. That’s fine, but you have to get results with that.
“You have people who walked past him. Jonny Clayton for example – he won the World Cup and he also won the Masters. Two big tournaments on TV. Jose de Sousa won the Grand Slam. Dimitri won the Matchplay.
“Michael has loads of talent. When he’s at full throttle it’s an absolute joy to watch. He gave himself opportunities to win majors and big events, and he didn’t quite have it. made.
“If I was him I would just kick, I would keep training the way he is, I would keep trying to get results, I would keep pushing. Don’t say it. Don’t tell everyone what you’re going to do. PDC like me, they’ll just say “Prove it to us. Prove why you should be in the Premier League.”
“And without doing that you won’t get a wild card. If he can get back on his head, which he’s obviously done, he threw some good things on the weekend, he moved up the standings, he cannot be ignored. “
However, Smith is keen to take the positives.
“The good thing is that I spend extra days at home with the children,” he noted while chatting with Sky Sports before flying to Germany. With extra quality time with his family, as well as a mountain of work around the house between laying pipes and tending the livestock, he has more than enough on his plate.
“I keep busy and busy. If I’m in the Premier League I can’t do things like that. It’s good and bad,” he noted.
“We have 48 incubators, six chickens, four Chinese swan geese, and I have seven turkeys and 20 ducks.
“I’m outside, trying to fill the pens. You have the orchard to maintain. The kids are busy, they just watch over them to make sure they’re not messing around!
“I just appreciate that. Before the lockdown, I would be lucky if I had four or five weekends at home. Obviously, that’s when the kids aren’t in school. It’s difficult, I have three days a week with them. it’s weird – I now have a year to spend with them every day.
“But it’s a sad way that I have this time with them because of the pandemic.”
In the past it has been booked on Thursday evenings, traveling across the UK and Europe to compete with the best in the world.
This year he’s not even tuning in to the Premier League.
“I love darts and I love the game. But when I’m home I’m not a dart player anymore, I’m a dad and I’m a husband. I don’t like to watch it, “he explained.
“As soon as I step inside my house, the darts are outside and I’m inside. I am a different person.
“Even when the World Championship or World Matchplay is on, and I’m still there, I travel back and forth, you don’t watch darts on TV, you don’t see who I’m playing next.
“When I’m out of the house, my kids and my wife watch her. But when I am at home, darts are not allowed on TV.
The 30-year-old is strict with the separation.
“I don’t practice at home. I’ve never had a dart board in the house,” he explained.
“I have my mom and dad’s pub. At half past twelve I’ll go down to the pub. Open up. Ian White is going downstairs. We’re going to do 1-4. I’ll be home then, and before the lockdown. then I would go from 8 to 10 or 11. So I was spending about six hours a day, but now I only get 1 to 4 with Whitey each day.
“So it’s still good, it still works. But I miss the extra two hours every day.
“I can’t go down to the pub for a laugh, when the pub is open and I can play some of the guys on the team.”
Pros and Cons of Super Series
The first four months of 2021 have the players’ championship events grouped into three four-day blocks. While the world number eight likes to be able to forge himself in a matter of days, the long layoffs have been tough sporting.
“We have to go two weekends in one, but then you have three or four weeks off. And I hate having weeks off. I love being home with the kids, but I also need to work to keep this house, which we have at the minute, ”he explained.
“So it’s a fine line, where you’re happy to be home but you have to work. So you hate working but you want to be home! That’s what it is.
“The four or five days [together] are good. It’s the four or five weeks off, which isn’t the best thing. “
Smith relishing the fans’ comeback
The Bully Boy has endured a mixed 12 months since the lockdown began and is looking forward to the return of fans as he seeks to find his A-game.
He believes that performing in front of a live crowd adds an extra element to psychological warfare on the oche.
“I love (the crowds). I’m confident in my score,” he said.
“Any player, I’m not going to name names, when they’re sitting on a two-dart like a 60 or 65, and I hit a 180 and the crowd is going wild, it puts them off. my way of doing things put a player out of play Crowds can affect them.
“But when there are no fans when you do and someone pushes a button [for the fake fan noise], it’s not the same feeling. Imagine Dublin in the Premier League when I hit that nine darts, you had 10,000 people screaming and going crazy. This is why I play this game.
“It’s the same if you are a soccer player, rugby player or whatever, you play the game to show yourself in front of the fans. As a kid, when I was in my room doing m ‘coach, I wanted to be on the main stage in front of thousands of people, with millions of people watching TV. No two markers, one player and someone pushing a button. I can do it at home on my PlayStation, that’s how I feel.
“I can’t wait for the fans to be allowed to come back and for us to have some fun. The first night at Matchplay if they’re allowed in, it’s going to be stupid! It’s gonna be so loud. This is what we want, this is what we lack. 99.9% of gamers want it. “
He believes that was partly to blame for his early exit at Alexandra Palace in December:
“I played badly at the world championships. I had no one my family and friends coming over to watch I can turn to them and they give you the boost you need.
“When no fan is allowed in, you have no one to turn to or turn to, just yourself. And my head is messed up like that! Imagine when I can’t talk to someone at the same time. It’s like the devil and the angel on either shoulder, but I have more demons. I can’t wait for this to happen. “
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