32-year-old Matthew Edgar started playing darts in Blackpool when he was seven. Since then Edgar has gone from strength to strength and has big ambitions for the future. He still remembers his first dart board, once his dad spotted his potential he encouraged him to take up the game.
In 2015 Edgar joined the PDC, after qualifying from Q school. Edgar isn’t a fan of the qualifying system saying “It’s been a mixed experience for me really, I’ve got through it quite comfortably before, and I’ve sweated through on the last day before. Last time I sweated through on the last day, as I needed to get to the quarter finals on the last day, which I did, which was a bit of a squeeze, but Q school is a nightmare I don’t think anybody enjoys it. It’s an overcrowded over populated room, where no one enjoys the experience. I’m sure if you ask Glen Durrant the same question he’d say he rather play in the World Championship’s. It’s horrible”
Edgar has never been a member of the BDO. He holds a negative opinion against the board after a tournament when he was 18, which lead him to quit the sport in the end. “No, no not at all. I actually quit darts aged about 18/19, because of tournaments, there was an experience I had at the British open in Bridlington, and I was playing in the 3rd round, and I was on the practice board, and then they shut the practice board, and this is becoming a match board now, because we are running behind, and we have more events on. There was nowhere for me to practice, and I’m a guy who can’t stop or I get stiff, and i struggle, so I need to keep playing. I just said this is how events are run, because of the mass numbers everyone’s got I can’t compete what I need to so I can’t achieve what I need too. It’s all great playing one good game on a day, but you need to be able to play a tournament, or you won’t be able to get very far in darts, because every ranking system is judged on ranking performance. I thought so if I can’t keep practising, and don’t have the facilities to do that then darts wasn’t for me, but I fell back in love with it later, as I stumbled across the setup of the PDC, which is perfect.”
The Yorkshireman is enjoying his season so far and has seen himself slowly move up the world rankings. However, Edgar says that this is only the beginning and there is still more to come as he looks to become a real challenger. “Loving it loving it, it’s like a staircasing system for me at the minute, as I’m not far off the match play, I’m just inside the grand prix, I’m on course for the World Championship’s, players championship, but I have the back door kicking me at the same time I’ve got all these great things on the horizon, and if I kick on a little bit more I can be in virtually everything for the rest of the year from where I am in the rankings. So, I’m in a position where I could be in everything change my life and push into top 32 but if I lose everything I could lose my tour card. I could make a mess of this, and go back to Q school, so there are positives, and negatives”.
However, Edgar says how he struggles to cope with the travelling. Whilst been on tour he must travel through Europe, and it can be quite strenuous. “You’ve touched on a good question there I hate traveling I hate just going down the shops or something I don’t like driving for starters. Some of the abroad ones as well. We’ve just done Leverkusen for the European tour, and you think it’s just a 1 hour’s flight, but your forgetting the 2-hour drive to the airport, and an hour and half wait at the airport, then the train in Leverkusen. To go to Leverkusen, it took just over 8 hours. Sometimes it can take that in England the m6 has turned into a smart motorway, so us going like Wigan that can be a bit of a nightmare. You virtually going at 50mph so a pro tour in England can take 5/6 hours. So, you have to prepare it right. You have to go the day before. We are playing in Barnsley on Friday, but I have to travel on Thursday. Travelling is tough, you think sitting down is easy, but it’s the toughest part of pro darts by far”.
Raymond Van Barneveld’s form has rapidly declined recently, and Edgar believes that the Dutchman may have stayed in the game for longer than he should have. “I think he should have retired at that time. He’s losing games that he never normally would, and he doesn’t seem to have the right amount of fight about him at the moment. Talking about the travelling it’s even worse for him he has to travel from Holland. It takes it out on you, it’s almost like it’s a chore for him. Someone said once the second you start considering retirement you should retirement as it means your competitive edge is gone. He might prove a lot of people wrong, but I don’t think he is competitive against himself, and I think in a year or two retired earlier.”