Former two-time World Champion Garry Anderson’s looking forward to seeing the back of 2019 – no pun intended.
The Flying Scotsman’s been for months on end this year because of a spine ailment, and it’s only in recent months that he’s felt he’s getting back to his best.
“I feel like I’m getting there. I’m still only really getting back to playing.after so much time off at the beginning of the year. I’ve tried to get back playing but it’s easier to work your way back, and I’ve struggled, So I’ve taken my time and each week I’m feeling a bit better when I’m playing.”
“In a strange way, getting my back straightened out has kind of ruined me – I’ve been so used to throwing with a dodgy back! Throwing straight now is taking some time to get used to, but I’m getting there.”
But having time away from the oche hasn’t been all bad – in fact, he was worried he could’ve liked it a bit too much:
“I’ve enjoyed the time off. Being at home so much could’ve destroyed me. Getting my interest back in playing again has been the hardest thing since I’ve returned.”
“Sometimes you just do not want to go.”
“I’ve always been classed as a bit of a lazy dart player by some because I never really needed to put the hours in that others do – I did when I was younger – but we play so much now that we’re constantly on, so you don’t really need the practice.”
“I’ve spent so much time at home with my family and enjoyed it, My back meant I couldn’t do as much with the kids as I’d like to but just spending time with them has been good.”
Retirement’s not for me
He’s still planning to win big tournaments – including a defence of his Champions League of Darts title in Leicester in a few weeks – even though the time off and retirements of Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld have made an impression. Still, retirement is not for him:
“If you see yourself retiring, that’s fine for you. I wouldn’t say I’m retiring though, I’d probably just stop playing and then, if I wanted to come back, the door would always be open.”
“I’ve always said Phil [Taylor] will miss it. I know he misses it! I can read him like a book. He’ll say he’s not but I can picture him pacing up-and-down when the darts is on the telly and watching. He misses it.”
“I’m not sure what Barney will do, but we’re all getting older. The thing you notice more is travelling. I’ve never been a great traveller, but the older you get, the harder it gets. I’ve not done the European tour for four years.”
“If I’d done everything – Premier League, Europeans and weekend competitions – I’d never be at home. The boys that do it, hats off to them, but they’re starting out and they’ve got to do it. I couldn’t.”
“And I’m away again now for the Grand Prix and I’m a bit homesick. It’s weird. It’ll take a bit of time to get back into the tour schedule after such a long time out, but I’ll get there – I’ve got a few years left in me still.”
Roll on 2020
It’s Chris Dobey up next in the second round of this week’s tournament.
“He’s a good player. His dad was a good player too, I played with him 15 or 20 years ago. Chris is very talented.”
“I fancy my chances in any match but Chris’ll fancy his too. I’ve been off the scene for a while, so maybe he’ll be fancying it a bit more than I will, but until we start throwing we won’t know.”
The priority for Anderson now is to get back to his usual high level for next year.
“I really just want this year over now, after the injury. 2020, start a new year. I’ll plod along this year and see what happens each week I feel better and better, I’m getting more comfortable throwing my darts and getting back to my throw.”
“I’ve changed my darts as well – the ones I’m using now are three grams lighter – and they seem to be going well for me now.”
“I’ve only changed my darts about five or ten times in my career, so it’s not a thing I do often, but I felt like I needed a change coming back.”