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Smith sets sights on “life-changing” Premier League title

St Helens star Smith celebrates (credit:Taylor Lanning)

Michael Smith insists he is going all-out for a “life-changing” first major title on Premier League finals night.

Smith faces his darting mentor Gary Anderson in a crunch Play-Off Semi-Final clash at The O2 on Thursday night.

It’s been a remarkable season so far for Smith, who has defied the social media keyboard warriors who slated his wild card inclusion in the elite invitational.

Smith, 27, is battling a heavy bout pleurisy and told Live Darts: "I've not been getting any sleep at all, I can’t get comfy and choking myself as I cough. It’s been hard but 
I’ve got to keep battling on and put it to the back of my mind. It’s hard to do but it’s been one of them things.

"I was told when I got the Premier League place by a few numpties on Twitter that I would be out of the league straight away.

"But I’ve got the 20 points I aimed for and finished second in the league. I’ve been first or second since day one so I feel I’ve justified my place.

"I've answered my critics so far. I might not have always played my best darts but I’ve won matches.

"Now on Thursday I’m begging that my A game just turns up once and I know for a fact I’ll walk home with the title.

"It could be the biggest night of my career if I win it. I’ve not achieved anything yet until I win it. It potentially changes my life, my kids’ lives, my missus. If I win a major then everything goes up.

"My confidence will go through the roof, knowing that I can win majors and tournaments and everything just falls into place."

Smith has already tasted glory on The O2 stage, becoming World Youth Champion on the same night Michael van Gerwen won his very first Premier League title six years ago.

He admits he admires the Eric Bristow mentality and Van Gerwen’s “perfect brain”.

Bully Boy added: “I've had to learn from my mistakes because if I hadn't had come back in and produced the goods then I wouldn't have been in this event again.

“I'm sick of being second or third best - I want to be the best in the business, and that's what I'm striving for, to be the best player in the world.

“I won't be happy coming second. Eric Bristow said 'If you come second, don't bother talking to me'. No one ever remembers the person who finishes second, they only remember the winner.

“I'm getting fed up of that now over the years of getting the last 16, or the last eight, or whatever. I want to be doing what MVG is doing and that's winning tournaments and doing what he does.

“I'd like to learn from Van Gerwen's winning ways and his winning mentality. He does have a perfect brain for this game, a perfect mentality as well, and that's what I'm trying to develop now.”

Smith also admits it’s bizarre that he was sat watching MVG winning his first Premier League in 2012 at the O2 - and now could play him on that same stage.

He added: “The experience was loud and it was even better when I sat backstage and saw Michael checkout 132 on the bull to beat Taylor for his first Premier League title. I was sat there watching it and now I could be there winning it, so we'll see what happens.”


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Smith sets sights on “life-changing” Premier League title

Michael Smith insists he is going all-out for a “life-changing” first major title on Premier League finals night.

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