Winmau’s nascent development team make an immediate impact.
The JDC and Winmau’s nascent Team360 project enjoyed a promising weekend’s action with several members performing strongly across a variety of formats, tours, and standards.
Keelan Kay had a standout debut weekend on the PDC Challenge Tour. The former World Cup (Youth) Champion may have benefitted from a certain familiarity having played in Milton Keynes previously on the Development Tour. If so he certainly took advantage during the opening event.
The Team 360 man removed World Champion Wayne Warren in the first round without allowing the Welshman to trouble the scorers. Inspired by his superb start Keelan went on a run to the quarter-finals. After a see-saw match, it took a deciding leg for Darren Beveridge to get past Kay and go on to win the event.
Event two started well with a victory over World Cup of Darts player Prakash Jiwa, before defeating in the L128.
Day two was a similar mix but the other way around, an early defeat in event 3 was swiftly reversed with another qtr final run. Keelan avenged the defeat to Beveridge by sending him packing 5-1 in the L128 round. His run included the removal of seasoned professionals such as Brian Woods and Steve Hine as well as recent Pro Tour man Robert Owen.
A second Qtr final defeat, this time at the hands of wily and in form Gavin Carlin, combined with a last 64 place in event 5 meant that Keelan finds himself in 23rd position overall and within striking distance of the higher places.
The encouragement and support of other Team 360 members, coach and support team online and in post-event conversation seemed to have a positive effect straight away
Keelan added: “The [Team’s] support meant a lot”
Although a little disappointed, he was 12th at one point, Keelan seemed satisfied overall:
“It’s a bit gutting after being 12th, but I now know what I need to do to get more out of it.”
Based on his progress during 2021 it will not be long until that too is corrected.
The ‘Bagel Boy’ strikes again:
We previously mentioned the remarkable performance of Jurjen van der Velde in recent events. The young Dutchman had gone through several rounds of a recent event without dropping a leg. Indeed so often did it happen that he was jokingly dubbed ‘The Bagel Boy’ for dishing out so many -0 defeats. It seems that it was not a one-off phenomena
Jurjen bagged the Cafe Bilgaard Leeuwarden ‘money darts’ event over the weekend in a similar style, although this time he did not have it completely his own way.
After dropping a couple of legs in his first group match van der Velde then dished out ‘the bagel’ to three successive opponents in the group stage. In his quarter final Jurjen allowed his opponent a single leg before reestablishing his pattern with a 4-0 semi-final win.
The final was an altogether tougher affair and went all the way to a deciding ninth leg. Jurjen proved he can win either way and claimed his third event win in as many weeks.
Cayden Smith is performing well on the JDC Foundation tour and is threatening the top spots, his qtr final place in event 9 solidified his position well.
Preparation is key
Meanwhile, several Team 360 players are preparing for the first of the year’s Development tour weekends, in September, with the hope of making an impact, their virtual coach and JDC grading workouts are helping to sharpen their skills during this slightly quiet period.
The Team 360 seems original and Darts World looks forward to seeing and hearing more of them in the coming weeks, months, and years.
—–ENDS—- Image: Winmau