Thu, 07 Feb 2019
Pic: Lawrence Lustig/PDC
NEWBURY darts player Luke Humphries has started the New Year with a bang.
As a result of Gary Anderson pulling out of the Unibet Premier League, due to a back injury, the 23-year-old is one of nine players to replace the ‘Flying Scotsman’.
It was announced by the PDC that nine contenders, made up of stars of the future and local favourites, will feature in 2019.
Humphries said: “I genuinely thought they would just put a 10th person in, but for me to have a chance to play a night in the Premier League is fantastic and I can’t wait.”
The nine players selected to replace Anderson will all be playing for prize money, while the Premier League players will be competing for points.
Humphries ended 2018 on a high after reaching the last eight of the World Championships at Alexandra Palace and he’s hoping he can continue his form.
He said: “After an amazing run in the World Championship, it’s great to get back out there and have the chance to prove myself once again that I can play my best darts on the stage.”
The former Trinity School pupil is scheduled to face Gerwyn Price in Exeter on February 28.
Humphries beat Price last year, but he said: “I beat him 6-1 on the European Tour, but I think it’s a closely-matched game for me.
“It comes just before the UK Open, so it’s a great way to start the weekend as it’s a good way to get rid of any early nerves.”
Price has made the headlines because of his emotional style, but Humphries said: “I don’t think he’ll put me off. He doesn’t do it to put his opponents off, it just boosts him up.
“If it helps him play better then fair play, I don’t think he acts malicious so for me it’s all about getting on with my own game.”