A new year brings a tonne of new possibilities for amateur darts players looking to make the next big step in their career and the annual PDC Q-School events is the place to make darting dreams come true. This Sunday over 650 hopefuls will compete across the 7-day event hosted in Milton Keynes and Niedernhausen as they all look to book their place on the professional circuit.
This year, #TeamTarget has 12 stars looking to get their hands on a PDC Tour Card. We take a closer look at some of these names to look out for.
Danny Lauby makes his trip over the Atlantic once again to showcase his skills on the oche. The North American star has featured already in the World Championship twice where he took big names in Ryan Searle and William O'Conner right down to the wire and on both occasions was unlucky not to pick up his first win at Ally Pally. The Texas-born tungsten thrower has an incredible level to his game and if he can bring that to Milton Keynes this week he will be sure to bin that return flight back to the states.
Dubbed as a 'future world champion', Leighton Bennett has caught the attention of the darting world in recent years, he still holds the record of being the youngest player to ever compete in the BDO World Championship as well as dominating on various youth competitions. Leighton featured at Ally Pally last month in the JDC World Championship final where he frustratingly missed out on the title to Dutchman Bradley Roes. However, Leighton will look to put a few wrongs right this week and a Tour Card is more than just a possibility for this lad.
Jarred Cole is a product of our Elite 1 programme and is the only player to graduate to our senior team without a Tour Card to his name which speaks volumes of the talent he possesses. Jarred gave some big names on the Development Tour a scare last year where he made a last-minute push for the title, even though he missed out on several events due to illness he still managed to finish in an impressive 8th place on the Order of Merit. The young star believes he is now at the stage of his career where getting a place on the tour is a priority so expect to see fireworks from him this weekend.
Kevin Doets signed with Team Target just 5 months ago and since has already showcased his exceptional talent. The Dutch-born star filled in as a first reserve on the PDC Tour last year where he presented his fearless mentality and toppled multiple big stars across his time on the circuit. Kevin managed to place 66th on the Order of Merit even with a reduced number of appearances which earned him a place in the Players Championship finals last November. Kevin is a serious contender for a Tour Card at the European Q-School events.
Another product of our Elite 1 academy, Sebastian Bialecki has had a 12-months to remember. The Polish sensation threw a 9-darter on his UK Open debut as well as backing his hard work up with multiple Development Tour titles. Sebastian can take his game to a serious level that could allow him to compete with the biggest names in darts, so a Tour Card is well within his ability.
Note that these aren't the only names looking to get their PDC Tour Card this weekend. Team Target has a whole array of talent who are more than capable of securing their place on the biggest stage of darts including the likes of previous Tour Card holder Alan Norris who will be looking to get back to the professional scene as well as Chris Quantock who has come within one game of getting his card a few years ago. We also have another 6 Elite 1 prospects; James Beeton, Nathan Care, Nathan Girvan, Killian Heffernan, Jack Vincent, and Tomas Houdek who will also be competing for this and eager to stamp their names on the darting universe.
Good luck to everyone competing!