Raymond van Barneveld insists that ‘anything is possible’ as he aims to keep his Premier League hopes alive ahead of this week’s Dutch double-header in Rotterdam.
The five-time world champion is currently three points outside the play-off places having suffered double defeat in Sheffield last week. However, the legendary Dutchman is hoping that the Premier League’s return to Dutch soil can inspire a turn-around in his fortunes.
Van Barneveld stated: “I couldn’t believe it that we got another night and a double-header in Rotterdam- it’s fantastic. I’m really looking forward to both games, first of all Simon Whitlock, and then a game against Michael which should be amazing. I’m going to do my very best to have a good result.”
Barney has received a hero’s welcome in the Premier League’s previous two visits to Rotterdam, and the 50-year-old admits he was completely taken aback by the astonishing reception. “The first year here I was in tears, thinking I can’t believe this. I was in shock- I never knew it was so great.
“Last year I was more aware of the crowd and it was simply amazing on both nights, so I’m hoping Wednesday and Thursday night is going to be the same as the first two years,” he added.
Van Barneveld meets Simon Whitlock on Wednesday evening, before he takes on his fellow countryman Michael van Gerwen in the second night of action on Thursday night- in arguably the biggest game of darts ever staged in the Netherlands.
The 2014 Premier League champion has made the play-offs on an impressive eight occasions- a record only bettered by Phil Taylor. He faces a difficult task to make it nine this year, but RvB is up for the fight and insists that he will ‘never give up’.
“If I can win both games, anything is possible. If you lose one or two then it’s gone, but we never give up, so I’m going to do my very best to not disappoint the crowd here and hopefully win two games, then anything is possible,” Van Barneveld claimed.
Fans attending Rotterdam’s Ahoy Arena over the next two nights are encouraged to wear Orange colours and Van Barneveld is looking forward to sporting a brand new shirt for the occasion. He told the PDC’s media channel: “Not many times I am playing in Orange, but it makes me proud, as a proud Dutchman.”