Raymond van Barneveld wants to lift a big trophy in 2017 and talks about his retirement plans
Dutch legend determined to stick with Phil Taylor and continue playing
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 06/01/17 9:17am
Raymond van Barneveld has targeted lifting a major trophy in 2017 and says he has no plans to retire from darts for another five or six years, despite fears he may quit sooner.
Barney, who will be turning 50 on Premier League night in Belfast, was knocked out of this year's World Championship by his Dutch compatriot and eventual winner, Michael van Gerwen.
Despite recording a mind-blowing 109 three-dart losing average in his 7-2 defeat to the world No 1 at Alexandra Palace, Van Barneveld said he was still hurting from the record-breaking semi-final match.
"I'm still not happy, but that's normal," he told Sky Sports News. "A fantastic 109 average with 68 per cent on doubles and only four sets short.
"It's not only that fact that I played so well against Michael, Gary played awesome, Cristo Reyes and Darren Webster all played extremely well against him, but he seems to be really unstoppable.
"It would be really nice for me to lift a trophy. The best one would be the Worlds of course, after that the Premier League, World Grand Prix, the World Matchplay or the Grand Slam of Darts, so either one of them. That would be fantastic.
"I've got the level there, having reached the semi-finals of the World Championships for the past three years now. The first target is to reach the semi-finals of the Premier League."
When asked about when he would likely consider retiring from the sport, the man from Den Haag backtracked on his interview in the immediate aftermath of his semi-final defeat, when he said he would likely call it quits in two years' time.
Van Barneveld said: "I become 50 this year, in April, in Belfast on Premier League night so that should be a great party. Maybe 55 or 56.
"You never know though - Phil still loves the sport and it's many years for him. I began when I was a 17-year-old kid, and I'm nearly 50 now, so nearly 33 years of travelling and stress. You have to deal with losses, but I think I have five or six years left."
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