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Premier League’s Aberdeen return pleases John Henderson

John Henderson drew with Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League in 2019.
John Henderson drew with Michael van Gerwen in the Premier League in 2019.

John Henderson is pleased that Premier League darts will return to Aberdeen in 2022.

The PDC’s touring extravaganza featuring 10 of the world’s top players had been set to return to the Granite City and P&J Live on April 22, but the pandemic has put paid to that.

However, the PDC confirmed last week that the Premier League will come back to Aberdeen in April of next year.

Henderson played in the Aberdeen leg of the event as a challenger player in 2019 – when he memorably drew with Michael van Gerwen – and last year – when he got beat by Nathan Aspinall.

The Highlander is pleased the north-east darts fans will again be able to watch the world’s best in the Premier League.

Henderson said: “I think Aberdeen is one that will always be on the Premier League calendar because every year they have a great night in Aberdeen.

“Two years ago I got the chance to play against Michael van Gerwen, which was great for me and people at the PDC still speak about that night to this day.

“I think that night and in previous years gave a really good showing and hopefully that can continue.

“The PDC have been trying to work on getting crowds back, but they can’t do it right now and for this year’s Premier League.

“But it’s great that they are coming back to Aberdeen in 2022.

“Even last year, I didn’t play like I wanted against Nathan Aspinall, but it was still a great night, the crowd were brilliant and the new arena is great.

“I think the Premier League will keep coming back to Aberdeen for years to come.”

If the Premier League’s return to Aberdeen is good news for Scottish darts, one recent piece of disappointing news for the sport in Scotland, and for Henderson, was Robert Thornton failing to regain his tour card at Q-School.

Robert Thornton has dropped off the PDC tour.

Huntly’s Henderson – who is set to appear in the UK Open this weekend – knows Thornton well.

He added: “It’s a shame to see Robert drop off and when you watch him I don’t think his standard has dropped, but there’s just been more players raising their standard and it’s become harder.

“Robert is a huge name in Scottish darts having won two TV majors in the UK Open and World Grand Prix.

“He’s been there and done it and he’s been a big help to me with the pointers he’s given me – as have Gary Anderson and Peter Wright.

“Robert will be missed a lot on the tour, but I hope he goes and plays the Challenge Tour because it’s a good standard.

“I hope Robert knuckles down and can get back on the main tour because it would be good for him and good for Scottish darts.”

Raymond van Barneveld has made a comeback.

One player who is back on the PDC circuit is five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld.

The Dutchman retired after his first round defeat to American Darin Young at the 2020 World Championship, however, he’s returned to the tour after winning a card at Q-School last month.

Henderson said: “I think if he’d gone out on a high at that World Championship in a quarter-final or a semi-final, he might have stuck by his decision.

“But it’s good to see he’s come back, he’s one of the biggest names in the sport and, if it wasn’t for him and Phil Taylor, the PDC probably wouldn’t be as big as it is.

“It’s good to see him back and there must have been a lot of pressure on him at Q-School because everyone was expecting him to come through and get his card so fair play to him.

“Some big names missed out at Q-School, but Barney didn’t and he’ll be a danger on the tour – no seed will want to play him first game.”

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