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Kyle Anderson reveals he has considered quitting darts amid homesickness heartbreak

Jamie Shaw in World Championship Interviews 19 Dec 2019
Anderson opens up on his homesickness struggle (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Kyle Anderson has revealed he contemplated ending his darts career earlier this year after struggling to cope with being away from his family in Australia.

Anderson relocated to the UK in 2014 after securing a PDC Tour Card at Qualifying School and has remained there since, leaving his wife and son behind in Perth.

The 32-year-old has made several visits back to his homeland between tournaments, while also competing in the World Series on home soil, but admits the emotional toll has left him considering his future in the sport, having even distributed his CV.

In a raw interview following his First Round comeback win over Xiaochen Zong at the William Hill World Championship, Anderson opened up on his emotional turmoil and the impact the separation has had on his mental health.

“It’s a struggle for me lately because I want to be home, but at the same time this is my profession, this is my job,” said Anderson.

“When it doesn’t work out, the demons come forward, like Raymond [Van Barneveld] said the other day, when the demons show themselves it’s quite hard not to see them every time you go to the board.

“At 2-0 down [versus Zong] I was thinking of the next flight home, I’ll sit at the back in the cargo if I had to, just get me home.

“I’ve contemplated going home a couple of times, this game has caught up with me being away from home, and the heartfelt emotion I have from inside, trying to be a man and not letting everyone see your emotion, it’s starting to come forward and control everything I do.

“Three weeks is the longest I’ve had at home barring the visa incident, which was a couple of months.

“I even spoke to a mate and put a CV out.

“I’ve got no money, no one to fall back on if my car breaks down, so I can’t get picked up, it’s all of the things you don’t think about when you do it.

“In October when I was coming home, I flew from Rockhampton to Brisbane, walked through customs and went and sat at the gate and text Mac [manager] and said ‘If I wasn’t through customs I’d be handing my resignation in.

“I just wanted to be home, it’s hard.”

Kyle Anderson pulled off a gusty comeback win in Round One at Ally Pally (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Anderson has also been forced to contend with a number of health problems of late, including eyesight issues and being diagnosed with diabetes.

He has consequently struggled for consistency on the oche this season, dropping out of the world’s top 32 after failing to qualify for a number of televised majors and failing to progress beyond the Last 16 stage of a ranked tournament since February.

Anderson hopes the arrival of his childhood friend Damon Heta to the UK in January will help restore some familiarity and re-ignite his career.

He added: “With Damon [Heta] coming across, that might change because I’ve asked him to come stay near me so we can keep in touch because we were best friends at school.

“We’ve already talked about being close together so it will feel like home.

“No one on this tour has done what I’ve done so no one understands what I’m going through.

“All respect for Luke Humphries with his anxiety, I gave him a shoulder to lean on, but what Luke went through has got nothing on what I went through.

“I just keep it to myself because I’ve been brought up that way not to talk about things like that, not that it makes you feel weak but your problems are your problems, not someone else’s.

“There’s always hope, I can’t tell the future but if I could, I’d go back and forth.

“If I won the Worlds I’d just go home and catch up on time. I’m playing catch up not just with my wife but with my son.”