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The BDO “has been going downhill for years” says Fitton

Jamie Shaw in Darts Interviews 17 Sep 2018
Fitton looks on (credit:Chris Dean/PDC)
Darryl Fitton admits the BDO has been “going downhill for years” and has blasted the lack of structure at grass roots level.
Fitton, a former BDO World Trophy and Finder Masters champion, has taken time out of the game in order to recover from a major hip operation earlier this year.
The 56-year-old has been a stalwart of the BDO system since 2002 but has hit out at the mismanagement which has thrown the organisation’s long-term future into doubt.
“The BDO has been going downhill for the last few years,” Fitton told Live Darts.
“What the new Chairman has done is open the gates for more people to enter the tournaments.
“It’s got to be a positive but no matter what he does, he’ll have his fans and his haters, that’s the problem with the BDO system.
“It’s difficult in the BDO system, you’re playing on different dartboards, different formats and throws. 
“You could be playing in Holland or Belgium and have to wait until the person on the board next to you has thrown before you can throw, it’s a cramped system.
“It makes things totally different and a lot harder.
“In the PDC, there’s plenty of room, you can swing a cat.”
Fitton has been working closely with a number of emerging stars in his new role as Head of Youth Development at Target and believes the BDO is not doing enough to support the development of its future talent.
He added: “The youth system in the BDO is non-existent and that is the biggest problem.
“There’s no structure, the BDO has to start from scratch and a get decent youth system, like the PDC is doing.
“At the moment, there’s nothing and it needs a total revamp.”
Fitton attempted to earn a PDC Tour Card for the first time at Qualifying School in January but failed to win through in his two appearances.
He has since featured in six Challenge Tour events but has not made it beyond the Last 64 and admits he has lacked the appetite for competition during his battle for fitness.
“I’ve had a hip replacement and I’ve now got more movement,” added Fitton.
“I just need to find the heart to play again.
“Twelve weeks at home was fantastic for me and what I really needed but I need to push myself to get back out there.
“I have to try and find it because it pays the bills but at the moment I’m still on a rest period.”