By Milo Clay
Eastwood darts player Aden Kirk is targeting a return to the sport’s big time.
Kirk, who has career wins over Phil Taylor and world champion Gerwyn Price to his name, is aiming to break into the PDC’s top 64.
The 28-year-old, nicknamed ‘The Captain’ has not appeared in a PDC tournament since January 2020.
But Kirk says he is relishing a return to action as he looks to recapture his better days on the oche.
“The PDC has still been going ahead, but they’ve been lumping them all on one weekend so then you don’t play again for a long time,” he said.
“I’m missing the pubs to be honest as that is where I can compete regularly and I’ve had no match practice for about five months now.
“I’ve got everything in place to be successful this year, I’m under new management now under ‘Dunvegan Darts’ who also have two time world champion Gary Anderson on their ranks, it’s just up to me to do it on the dartboard.
“I want to be in the worlds top 64, start qualifying for all the world’s TV events and playing the darts I know I can play.”
And Kirk, who now lives in Ilkeston, admits his wins over Taylor and Price came too soon in his fledgling career.
He said: “The games were dreadful but I took them in my stride and the actual achievement in itself I look back on fondly, but I wasn’t ready for what came after.
“If I’m being honest, it made me think I was better than I was and then I was losing to people who on paper were not better than me, but because of my ego at the time I was getting upset that I was losing.
“It hit me that I need to put the practice in and it’s not all going to come my way unless I put the hard work in.”
Despite the relapse following the PDC Open Tour in 2014, he went on to finish third in the PDC qualifying rankings, winning two of the tournaments in 2015 and 2016.
Kirk’s success during this tour booked him a place on the two-year tour card, which led to a debut appearance at the 2019 World Darts Championship. But the Englishman suffered a first round loss at the hands of Gabriel Clemens.
Although he exited the World Championship in the first round, ‘The Captain’ is desperate to get back amongst the sports elite and showcase what he can do:
“I was beating players on the youth tours that are now on the pro tour, my aspiration is to get where they are now.”
Alongside his darts career, Kirk works full-time at Forbo Flooring in Ripley and is keen to remain grounded regardless of how successful he becomes.
He added: “I’ll never pack my job up for darts as I’ve seen many players who reach the top ten in the world and then two years later they’re searching for jobs.
“I’ve been furloughed from work though so I’ve been getting a lot of practice in and doing at least two hours per-day.”
The darts prospect is also looking for local shirt sponsorship and if interested contact Dunvegan Darts.