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Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

Colin Lloyd

Darts expert and columnist

The return of Raymond van Barneveld, Kirk Shepherd and Scott Mitchell through Q-School, and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh were all on the agenda for the last episode of The Darts Show Podcast. Colin Lloyd donated his two cents ahead of 2021 darts season

Last update: 02/23/21 5:20 p.m.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

Dimitri Van den Bergh could face an important year

Colin Lloyd outlines the main talking points ahead of the 2021 darts year.

Talk on Darts Show PodcastLloyd outlined the main storylines he looks forward to, with 2021 set to kick off with the Super Series kicking off this week.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

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Barney is back!

It was never a surprise to see Barney go through Q-School. It’s a class act, and he still has that name and that fear factor in him.

But he starts from the bottom. And that means he has no choice, he has to go to tournaments, he has to go to the European qualifiers. If he has greatness to go up – I’m not saying where he was – but to come back to compete in big TV events, he must go up his ranking.

I know it’s a fresher Raymond van Barneveld. But will he fall back on himself, if the results do not go in his direction, and continue to travel? He has no choice, he has to get on with things.

It’s not like a big-price boxer coming back, and they have a shot at a world title right away. He can not. He must qualify for the tournaments.

Listen, I wish him good luck. Part of the hard work was getting his card, he did it.

He is now qualified. He can now start to focus on his progress in the leaderboard. I wish him good luck.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News 0:56
Raymond van Barneveld looks forward to return to PDC ProTour

Raymond van Barneveld looks forward to return to PDC ProTour

Mitchell and Shepherd among Q-School winners to watch

Scott Mitchell will be an asset on the tour. He is a class player. He was a prolific winner within the BDO system and a world champion.

He was so happy and so happy to get his tour card. He didn’t get it with the point system, he actually officially won it. I think he’s proven to himself a lot where he is as a darts player and how he’s going to compete and try to make it to televised events.

Kirk Shepherd had all the talent in the world as a youngster. Otherwise, he would not have reached the 2008 World Championship final.

It should have pushed him. I love Kirk. He’s a lovely boy. He is always respectful. He goes out to have fun. But at one point or another, the odds run out. I’m not saying he’s in the last-ditch saloon, far from it. But he’s such a talented player, it was nice to hear him say: “I have to grow up now and I have to stop for a bit”.

Because he’s a dangerous player. When he is on the move, he will fear no one. He just gets on this board and he plays his darts. So it was nice to hear him talk about “I gave myself another opportunity, I’m not going to let it go”.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

Kirk Shepherd has been to Q-School for the fourth time in his career

Pressure on Dimitri Van den Bergh?

Dimitri is the opposite of some players; he delivers on the big stage.

Ian White is someone who needs to bring his form to the ground on TV.

Yes, Dimitri is a great champion, which can never be taken from him. But for him to push even further, he has to be more consistent in these ground events. This will push him even higher in the rankings. I think that will make him a threat.

He always seems to perform well on TV. But to have a better game in every way, I think he has to increase his ground game as well. People might say “as long as he’s doing it on TV, it doesn’t matter”. But it puts pressure on you.

Looks like it’s a million miles away, but next year he’s only going to defend £ 150,000 from one event in his ranking. Potentially, if he doesn’t do much on the court this year, it could knock him out of the top 16 in the world, if he doesn’t defend.

I have always been a big supporter of ground events. This keeps you alert, and it’s that extra money for your ranking.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

Does Van den Bergh need to find consistency on the Pro Tour?

The return of the Premier League

The PDC has announced the first nine nights of the 2021 Premier League for April.

I think they’re hedging their bets to get that block out, to get it out of the way so they can focus on running ranked events.

Fortunately we now know that I hope [restrictions] going to relax, get out of lock, so they can have a crowd. So I think they’ll find some space.

We are still waiting for the official schedule to come out of the PDC.

But there’s no reason they can’t suspend the second half of the Premier League, postpone it at the end of the year, and try to get ranked events also in that part of the year that they do not want. block everything. So I think they are doing a good thing.

Raymond van Barneveld’s return and a big year for Dimitri Van den Bergh: Colin Lloyd’s talking points for 2021 |  Darts News

The first half of the Premier League will be played at Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes

And finally, it’s almost time for the UK Open!

It’s a fantastic tournament. It’s called the “FA Cup of Darts”. Every round is drawn, you don’t know who you are going to get. You could ask Michael van Gerwen to draw Gerwyn Price from the start. It’s just a big event.

The fact that it’s a big event, it’s so hard to win. It’s such a shame that there are no crowds there.

Watch full coverage of each Premier League night at Sky Sports, and stay with us throughout the year as we bring you the latest darts news at skysports.com/darts, our mobile app and Twitter account @skysportsdarts.

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