Newly crowned Lakeside world champion Glen Durrant will remain a BDO player for at least the next twelve months, after confirming that he will aim to defend his World Championship title in January 2018.
The 46-year-old has dominated the BDO circuit for the last 18 months, having won successive World Masters crowns and twelve ranking titles in 2016. However, he finally achieved “the culmination of his dream” by defeating Dutch debutant Danny Noppert 7-3 to win his maiden world title at the Lakeside Country Club on Sunday evening.
Speculation was rife that Durrant would join up with his stablemates at the Sportsman Management Company, which includes the Premier League duo of Jelle Klaasen and Kim Huybrechts, as well as world number eight Mensur Suljovic, all of whom are managed by Mac Elkin.
Yet ‘Duzza’ put an end to speculation, confirming to local tv: “I’m delighted to say I’m going to stay on the BDO tour and I’ll be back at Lakeside next year to try and retain the title. I’m going to take a bit of time out now. If I was a car, I’d be running on empty. I need to recharge the batteries, whether that’s a month or three months out of the game, just whatever it takes.”
Nevertheless, Durrant admitted if he hadn’t triumphed at the Lakeside Country Club, he would have made the switch to the PDC. “I was very close to joining the PDC and if I was here being interviewed after a First or Second Round loss at Lakeside I’d have told you I was going to Q School.”
In the immediate aftermath of his triumph on Sunday evening, Durrant told lead broadcaster Channel Four that he wanted to evaluate his next decision with his family and management, but he was given less than 24 hours to make the decision as entries for the PDC Qualifying School closed on Monday at 2pm.
Despite this, ‘Duzza’ will rub shoulders with the PDC elite in this year’s Grand Slam of Darts. The Teessider made his Wolverhampton bow last November and came through the group phase before losing to Raymond van Barneveld in the last 16, and his Lakeside triumph guarantees him a spot in next year’s competition.
Elsewhere, another high-profile star who opted to remain with the BDO is England Classic winner Dean Reynolds. The talented Welshman competed on the PDC Development Tour in 2016 and topped the overall Order of Merit after winning six events throughout the calendar year.
Reynolds’ triumph saw him secure a PDC Tour Card for 2017/2018, although the BDO world number seven confirmed via his twitter account that he was declining the offer of a tour card, stating: “Just to confirm, I have declined my tour card from the PDC. Thanks to all at the PDC throughout the Development Tour last year. I will be back in time.”
Photo Credit: David Gill