James Wade has vowed to “turn over a new leaf” in a bid to take his major wins into double figures as the third most decorated player in PDC history.
Wade returns to the Unibet
Premier League next month aiming to reach ten televised titles – a tally bettered only by Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen.
Wade, who suffers from Bipolar disorder, believes he is in the best psychological shape in years after settling down his personal and playing life behind the scenes.
“I think it’s been very clear the difficulties I’ve had over the past seven or eight years,” Wade told Live Darts.
“It’s been a massive struggle just to get to the stage, let alone win games. It’s always been hard to contain my emotions.
“I’ve been very lucky to have had huge support during my illness. My wife Samantha has been my rock to get me back into a good place.
“But I knew there was a missing piece in the jigsaw, I needed a little bit more help to take the strain for darts. So I’ve signed to Nevada Sports Management.
“Jon Archer is an experienced manager and has guided World Champions Rob Cross and Stephen Bunting through some good and bad times.
“He also has another World Champion in youth star Leighton Bennett, so it’s a successful team which I’m delighted to be part of.
“It feels like I’m turning over a new leaf in some respects. I made huge strides last year by winning two more tournaments. I’m going in the right direction.”
Wade ended a near five-year wait for a major title when he triumphed at the European Championship last October before going on to win the World Series Finals just seven days later.
A roller-coaster World Championship campaign was ended by Ryan Joyce in the Last 16, but Wade admits he is now ready to put the dark days behind him and cope with the demands of the big stage on a weekly basis.
“Darts is more than just throwing objects at a board,” he added. “There’s a lot of pressure behind the scenes with organisation and I find that aspect very difficult to deal with and play the game. That is now sorted for me.
“Now I can just concentrate on getting myself psychologically right which, ultimately, is my most difficult task. But I know I can get it right and win more titles.
“I know that I’ve got the ability. I know that I’ve let myself down in the past by losing to people I shouldn’t have. But there are mitigating circumstances.
“That’s the past now. I have a bright future and I’m very excited about the prospect of going for title number ten.
“I’m very proud to be the third best player in PDC history, only behind probably the best two players to have ever picked up darts in the history of the game.
“But now I know I can kick on and achieve even more.”
Archer is delighted to add Wade to a blossoming portfolio of champions at Nevada alongside Cross, Bunting, Bennett, Ricky Evans, David Pallett and Jim Walker.
He added: “James is perhaps the most remarkable player in the history of darts. To deal with his illness and play competitive sport at the highest level and be a winner, is quite simply unheard of.
“I think he is a hugely underestimated talent. We just aim to give him the perfect platform just to focus on his game and his health. If James is happy, he will win so much more, make no mistake about that.”
Wade will make his first appearance as a Nevada player at the SAP Prague Grand Slam event on Tuesday when he takes on wonderkid 13-year-old Bennett, the youngest-ever darts World Champion in history.