Barney ready to rumble

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Raymond van Barneveld has confirmed he almost quit darts after his shock PDC World Darts Championship first-round defeat.

The big Dutchman was a surprise high-profile casualty at Alexandra Palace, losing to James Richardson, but is convinced he has now turned the corner for an assault on the McCoy’s Premier League.

The 44-year-old crowd pleaser starts his campaign at the Manchester Arena on Thursday against bogey opponent Simon Whitlock, who has won three of the last four Premier League meetings between them, but insists he is ready to bounce back.

“The last World Championship was really poor, I lost to James Richardson in the first round and that was a poor day in my career,” the Dutch thrower told Sky Sports.

“After that I didn’t watch the World Championship for three or four days and seriously I was thinking of quitting because I was thinking ‘what’s the use?'”

He added: “I’m happy and over the moon with the wildcard for the McCoy’s Premier League.

“The last year wasn’t the greatest and I’m really happy to be in this one and hoping to do well. Last year I was second but blew it in the semi-finals. This year the target is the semis again and then hopefully make the final.”


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