Vincent van der Voort heads to the World Cup of Darts with every intention of clinching his first major title.
‘The Dutch Destroyer’ is representing defending champions The Netherlands with Raymond van Barneveld, and van der Voort says he will do his best to ensure that his homeland retains the title.
He said: “Raymond won the tournament with Co Stompe last time so maybe there is a little bit of pressure because we can only do worse than that. It’s a new tournament for me but I will do the best I can, and if we are both at our best I’m sure we can win it.
“Raymond is a fantastic player and the reason why darts is so big in Holland. He could easily be number two or three in the world again this time next year. He has so much quality and he is a great friend of mine, which is also important when playing as a pair.”
The closest that van der Voort has come to winning a major title so far was at the UK open in 2007, when he was runner up to ‘Barney’. The world number 14 believes he should have won a major by now and hopes to rectify that in Hamburg this weekend.
He said: “Winning a major is something I’m gunning for. I think I have been a little bit unlucky in televised tournaments at times. For example, I lost out very narrowly to Andy Hamilton at the World Championship and he went on to reach the final. It is definitely something that I’m aiming for this year, hopefully this weekend.”
The 36 year old is regarded as the fastest player in the world and has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity. The Dutchman is delighted with the way that crowds have taken to him.
He said: “It’s unbelievable, I changed my walk-on song and all of a sudden everyone is singing my name and cheering for me. It was actually quite hard to deal with at first because I wasn’t used to that level of support. Now I have gotten used to it, I find it a massive help. It is fantastic.”
Van der Voort hopes that potential success at the World Cup can act as a catalyst for him to fulfil his long term ambitions.
He said: “Every darts player wants to play in the Premier League and I am no different. It is the biggest, most entertaining show in darts and if there is a player that doesn’t want to play on that stage then there is something wrong. If I have a good year on television this year, hopefully I’ll get the chance to take part. That would be amazing but it will take a lot of hard work to make it happen. I have just moved house and got a great practice room so as long as I put the work in, this could be my year.”
By Chris Murphy