Anderson looking forward to some family time this summer

BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS'PLAY OFF FINALS,02 LONDON'PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG'SEMI FINAL'MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V GARY ANDERSON'GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION
BETWAY PREMIER LEAGUE DARTS'PLAY OFF FINALS,02 LONDON'PIC;LAWRENCE LUSTIG'SEMI FINAL'MICHAEL VAN GERWEN V GARY ANDERSON'GARY ANDERSON IN ACTION

Gary Anderson is looking forward to a well earned break now that the 2014 Premier League darts series is over.

Anderson, who is a former winner of the competition, qualified for last week’s finals night at the O2 Arena in London, but was knocked out in the semi-finals by defending and world champion Michael van Gerwen.

The ‘Flying Scotsman,’ who hails from Eyemouth, was beaten 8-7, having had a break of throw to lead 5-4.

But van Gerwen broke straight back, and despite Anderson hitting back to back 180s in the 14th leg, he lost it on the last leg decider.

After the game Anderson said he was pleased with his performance.

“I hit some silly scores at the wrong time early on but I broke his throw and got ahead and then let him back in.

“Michael’s the world number one and World Champion and I’ve taken him to the final leg, so it’s not too bad.

“I’ve enjoyed the Betway Premier League this year but I’ve still got probably 20 percent improvement in me.”

Before the big night Anderson said he knew he would go into the match as the underdog: “but the pressure will be on him as favourite,” he added.

Anderson went into the finals on the crest of a wave. He had won five and drawn two of his previous seven outings in the League, and had guaranteed his place in the showdown with a 7-4 win over Raymond van Barneveld in Brighton the previous week.

Ironically, van Barneveld went on to lift the Premier League title for the first time in nine years by beating fellow countryman van Gerwen 10-6 in the all-Dutch final, having previously come from 4-1 down to beat Phil Taylor 8-5 in the semi-finals.

“I have been playing with a lot more confidence,” said Anderson, “but I still feel my game is only at 75 per cent.

“I have been scoring well, and people have been going on about my poor doubles, but I have been looking at the stats and I have the second best doubles average in the league behind Barney.”

Having already won four Pro Tour events this year, Anderson feels he is starting to emerge from the shadows.

“I really have had two, two and a half years when I haven’t been at my best,” he admitted.

“But recently I have gone back to how I used to play, not thinking about it too much, and it seems to be working.

“It might be down to having a settled family life and the arrival of a new baby, but for whatever reason I am just going with it.”

Anderson, who is now based ‘down south,’ made a big impact on the PDC circuit after moving over from the BDO. In 2011 he reached the final of the World Championship, where he was beaten by Adrian Lewis, and the same year he also lifted the Premier League title.

“That was my best year,” he said, “and I have been struggling a bit since then, but now I feel I am on the way back again.”

“Life as a professional darts player is tough. Basically, you don’t have much of a life outside darts,” he said. “You are living out of a suitcase for almost nine months of the year, sometimes even more, playing midweek and at weekends, and it is difficult.

“It’s OK for some of the young ones, but I’m 43 now and whilst the mind might be willing, the body isn’t.

“That’s why I will be pleased when the summer comes around and I can get a break. I can go home and spend some time with Rachel (his partner) and the little chap (new son Tai) change a few nappies and do a few things normal people do.”