O’Shea hopeful of new dawn under new BDO board

Jamie Shaw in BDO Darts News 19 Sep 2018
Crowd favourite O'Shea reacts (credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images)

Tony O’Shea believes the previous BDO board were “not really equipped” to take the organisation forward and is hopeful the BDO can move in the right direction under new leadership.

Derek Jacklin was appointed new BDO Chairman in August and has already approved radical changes to longstanding rules, including the removal of all restrictions placed on PDC players, while also allowing the BDO's top-ranked women to compete in the qualifiers for the PDC World Championship.

O'Shea, who has competed within the BDO system since 1995, admits the reshuffle has been a long time coming and is hopeful it will mark a new chapter following a long period of uncertainty.

"It's been needed for a few years if I'm honest," O'Shea told Live Darts.

"The people who did the job in the past were lovely people but probably not really equipped to take the game forward.

"I think Des and his team have got the right ideas and things have already improved a little bit and hopefully they'll carry on improving.

"Who knows, we might be playing for big money in decent tournaments in the future?

"The game's that big now that I think even Barry Hearn would admit it's probably too much just for the PDC to do because there's so many good players around.

"I spoke at Lakeside about needing rule changes and that's the first step to it.

"That means in January we can all have a crack at Q School, if we don't get there we can always still play BDO.

"I think the BDO's become a feeder for the PDC anyway, that's where the money is and where all players want to play."

O'Shea was one of a clutch of BDO stalwarts to compete in Qualifying School in January for the right to gain a coveted PDC Tour Card but failed to progress beyond the Last 128 on any of the four days.

The 57-year-old featured in the first four Challenge Tour events of the season, reaching the Semi-Finals of Event Three, but has since returned to BDO competition in a quest for vital ranking points.

When asked if we would be entering Qualifying School next year, O'Shea replied: "Yeah, of course.

"I advocate the change in rules and it should be an open field and go and have a go if you think you're good enough.

"If you're not good enough, drop back into the BDO and try and get ready for next year.

"I don't know how long I've got left in darts, I want to play everywhere I can in every tournament I can and win as much money as I can.

"Whether it happens or not is another thing but it should be open to everyone."

O'Shea has been plagued by injury problems in recent years but has enjoyed a spell of resurgence, winning the Turkish Open last October and climbing into the provisional qualifying places for the 2019 BDO World Championship.

The popular Stockport thrower remains grounded as to his chances of major silverware but insists he will continue to work at his game.

"Obviously I'm practicing again well and I've won a ranking event since my knee was done," he added.

"I'm back in the Lakeside in January and hopefully it'll get better and better.

"I struggled a couple of years ago and I've come back into it and I've noticed that it's getting tougher and tougher.

"Maybe my time's gone but I'll still give it a crack and put the effort in."



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O’Shea hopeful of new dawn under new BDO board

Tony O’Shea believes the previous BDO board were “not really equipped” to take the organisation forward and is hopeful the BDO can move in the right direction under new leadership.

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