Wales’ Darts Renaissance: Price And Clayton Aim To Solidify Legacy At World Cup

Over the past few years, Wales has emerged as a dominant force in the world of darts, echoing the dizzying heights of the golden era back in the 80s. This time leading the charge in Welsh ‘arrowsmith‘ talent is Gerwyn ‘The Iceman’ Price who has been nothing short of a revelation, winning the World Championship in 2021 and reaching world number one in the process.

Meanwhile, Jonny ‘The Ferret’ Clayton has been enjoying great success since his first individual PDC major title in 2021 as Masters champion, followed by becoming Premier League champion and World Grand Prix champion, ironically a run of titles which all kicked off after Jonny and Gezzy teamed up as the triumphant Team Wales at the World Cup of Darts 2020.

Now as the 2023 World Cup of darts draws near, the two Welshmen hope Welsh fans will help them to ignite the oche in Frankfurt.

Something that shouldn’t be difficult for fans to get behind, as Wales will once again be among the favourites to lift the trophy, thanks to the impressive form of these two titans.

Clayton said:

“It’s a massive plus when you walk onto that stage with one of the best players in the world.

“I’ve got to say, Gezzy is playing fantastic at the moment. He’s playing some phenomenal darts, and I’m just going to be his wingman, hopefully. It’s brilliant to be able to have that Top Gun Maverick and Goose feeling.”

“There’s probably not many Michael Sheen moments before any games, we just go out there and try and get the job done as quickly as possible.”

Jonny is referring to the actor’s inspiring speech before the 2022 football World Cup to the Welsh team. In the darts world however, things are generally more laid-back for the pair ahead of a big game:

The Ferret said:

“We just have a laugh, we are good mates, we trust each other, we have a high five of the hands and away we go’. Ferret goes on to say, ‘’Sometimes I’ll give him a little punch on the shoulder. And then I hope to God he doesn’t punch me back’’.

Gezzy agrees with his teammate but assured me “When you’re playing for your country and your teammate, you don’t want to let them down. I don’t think it’s trying twice as hard, but the concentration levels are really high.”

“We’ve won it before. So, I think that eases the pressure as well and we have experience playing at the top-level week in week out, dealing with the pressure of playing against the best players in front of big crowds,” Price added.

“I’m a proud Welshman and when I’m representing Wales, whether it’s in darts or in the past in rugby, I always want to give 100%. I want to do as best I can. And, yes, it is a lot of pressure. But I seem to thrive under bigger pressure’’.

Even though Gezzy and Jonny are both two of the top players in the world, Gezzy talks about what else is needed for that winning formula.

“Me and Johnny get on really well. I think that is the main ingredient to winning the tournament. Some players don’t get on or don’t like playing with their teammate. That’s crazy to me. You need to have that connection with a player and that’s what me and Jonny have got.”

There is certain to be plenty of competition, with the likes of the Netherlands and last year’s winners Australia pushing for the title, but with both Gerwyn Price and Clayton being ranked in the top ten, Wales will certainly have a big impact on the tournament.

With the format changing slightly this year, putting an emphasis on doubles, there are set to be more upsets and shocks than ever, but the two Welshmen are excited about the change in competition and have full belief in each other to get the job done come June 18th.

Gezzy says whilst talking about playing as a team and the new doubles tweak in the tournament “When you lose as an individual, obviously, you’re just upset yourself. But then when you play for Wales, I’m playing for Jonny as well, so it can be really tough.

“I think it is probably the right format for the competition. It’s quite an exciting move and definitely makes the tournament more interesting.

“Me and Jonny won’t be changing roles. I think we’re pretty similar in ability. We both complete at the highest standard at any given time. So, you know, where other teams will try and play a tactical game and put certain players on first and second, I don’t think it really matters.

Jonny is quick to heap the praise on his teammate: “Gezzy’s mindset is fantastic. He’s got something that’s different, and when I stand behind Gerwyn Price, I look at him sometimes, and I think, whatever’s going on in your head, I wish I could have it.

But I wonder what quality the former World champion Gezzy would like from Jonny? Gezzy says immediately ‘’his temperament. He is so calm and collected on the stage. Whether he is winning or losing. He keeps his cool. I wish I could have a bit of that’’. Gezzy famous for his passionate roars on stage, Jonny adds ‘’if I’m setting up these winning shots for him he needs to gee up the crowd more. I love that about Gezzy’’. Adding as he reminisces on 2020 win, ‘’It was Gezzy who made the winning throw in 2020. I set up double top for him. Gerwyn took all the glory, but to be fair, it was a brilliant day, and I remember every second of it.

“I’m happy to be the Goose and Gezzy can be Maverick.”

It’s clear the love and respect between these two is why they work so well together, and with their sights set on even greater success, these Welsh Mavericks are a force to be reckoned with and a source of inspiration for fans across the nation.