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Jonny Clayton poised for Premier League Darts homecoming in Cardiff: “It’s going to be electric”

Joe Cullen relishing Premier League Darts debut: “I’ve wanted it for a long time”

Jonathan Davies in Premier League Darts 03 Feb 2022
Cullen plays good friend Jonny Clayton on Thursday (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Joe Cullen says he will reap the benefits of his hard work and relish his long-awaited Premier League debut this season.

The Bradford ace is the only debutant to appear in this year’s new-look competition, which commences at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Thursday.

Cullen sealed his spot after claiming an emotional maiden TV title at the Masters last weekend; seeing off Gary Anderson, Michael van Gerwen and Jose de Sousa, before defeating Dave Chisnall 11-9 in the final.

Following a couple of near-misses, the Rockstar will now compete alongside seven of the world’s best players over 16 weeks as the popular invitational event returns to arenas across the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Germany.

And the 32-year-old cannot wait to get started.

“I’ve wanted it for a long time and I think I’ve been close a few times,” he told Live Darts. “I think I’ve been one or two results away from potentially getting picked.

“I’ve probably obsessed over it a little bit and it’s been to my own detriment and undoing.

“I haven’t put that much pressure on myself this time and the results have shown; I’ve won the first TV tournament of the year and I’ve got 16 weeks to look forward to.

“I want to win it just as much as the other seven guys do but, first and foremost, I’m going to enjoy my time because I’ve worked hard to get here.”

Cullen faces a baptism of fire after he was drawn to play reigning champion and home favourite Jonny Clayton in Cardiff.

The world number 11, who could face another Welshman in the semi-finals should Gerwyn Price overcome James Wade, has the opportunity to be the pantomime villain at the Motorpoint Arena.

Nevertheless, he is excited by the challenge of silencing the home crowd.

“I’m actually really pleased with that,” he added. “Me and Jonny are great friends.

“To take on a Welshman in Cardiff – especially being the defending champion – is going to be special.

“Hopefully, I can keep the home crowd quiet and get the result for England.”

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