Glen Durrant admits he's loving every second of life in the PDC
"I just think they saw an ordinary man having an extraordinary week and they were all part of that journey with me. It was a pretty special memory to have."
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 31/07/19 2:17pm
Glen Durrant insists he's "loving every second" in the PDC after producing a series of stunning displays to reach the World Matchplay semi-finals on debut last week.
Durrant has made an immediate impact since departing the BDO and crossing the darting divide in January, in arguably the highest-profile switch since Raymond van Barneveld joined the PDC in 2006.
The three-time Lakeside world champion only came through Qualifying School on the fourth and final day, but he's since scooped two Players Championship titles and reached a major semi-final which has catapulted him up to 44th on the PDC Order of Merit.
'Duzza' defeated the decorated trio of Adrian Lewis, Michael van Gerwen and James Wade - who have won 48 majors between them - to reach the semi-finals at the Winter Gardens, before his dreams of debut glory were curtailed by Michael Smith in the last four.
"All the hopes and dreams I had about the week, the concerns I had - Was I good enough? Was I going to perform? It exceeded all expectations and at one point at the end I thought I was going to go all the way, but I was delighted with a semi-final," Durrant told the Darts Show podcast.
"I played in front of a Premier League crowd which was totally different. What it did mirror was Lakeside. Very traditional building, a lot of history, a lot of memories. The crowd were virtually on top of you so I was using that as a parallel really of how I wanted to play."
Although The Phil Taylor Trophy eluded Durrant on this occasion, the 48-year-old certainly won the hearts of the Winter Gardens crowd, as he emerged as a real fan favourite in Blackpool.
"I was concerned about the fans and whether they were going to take to me, but my overriding memory was when they were shouting my name, the goosebumps. That's the memory I take away the most.
"I was shocked more than anybody that they took to me, but I just think they saw an ordinary man having an extraordinary week and they were all part of that journey with me. It was a pretty special memory to have," he added.
Durrant dominated the BDO circuit from 2015 onwards, winning three successive Lakeside titles, two World Masters crowns, three Finder Darts Masters titles and the BDO World Trophy in 2018.
Nevertheless, certain critics still questioned whether the Middlesbrough man had the ability to compete amongst the PDC elite, although while he's emphatically silenced any lingering doubters, he's also proved a point to himself.
"My stats are up there with the best in the world, I'm in the top eight in terms of averages," said the Winter Gardens semi-finalist.
"I proved this week to myself and to a lot of people that I deserve to be up there playing against the best players in the world."
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"I'm going in the right direction. If I had beaten Michael Smith in the semi-finals that would have opened the door for the Grand Slam and I would have been in the top 32.
"I would have snapped your hand off for that when I was three darts away from being knocked out of Q School by Matthew Dennant.
Durrant has enjoyed tremendous success over recent years and that's largely down to his meticulous preparation and desire to constantly improve.
He became a full-time professional in March having spent 30 years a housing manager responsible for the running of 15,000 social houses, and now he believes it's time to improve his lifestyle.
"I've just been putting some petrol in the engine. I'm going to go to Cyprus and I'm going to use that as a real catalyst to come back because you need to be fit. You need to be mentally strong, you need to be physically fit these days because it's pretty gruelling.
"When I played in Prague recently, it was 67 degrees up there. I've put weight on but the intention, the next phase for me is definitely to put some time in the gym."
The Teessider also consistently highlights how important the mental aspect of the game is and perhaps surprisingly given his status as a three-time world champion, Durrant revealed he regularly seeks hypnotherapy in a bid to take his game to the next level.
"I had a real good session on Monday with hypno-darts, a guy called Stephen McKibben," the 48-year-old admitted.
"I didn't come out of the traps very quickly. I don't think I won a first leg in any of the matches that I played. There were patches when the treble 20 was sticking out of the board, I could have thrown them from 10 feet.
"There were also times where I was soaking up the atmosphere and pinching myself rather than thinking I'm in with a chance of winning arguably the second biggest tournament in the world.
"I'm so excited for the Pro Tour in Germany this weekend. So many people have pulled out but I'm absolutely loving every second."
Durrant on life in the PDC
"My mental strength I'd only give 7/10 this week but I had a good session last night where he talked about all the positives and the bottom line is I'm turning all the black and white books in a library into colour. It's a long journey, a long process but we're getting there."
However, following his remarkable exploits in Blackpool, Durrant's attention now switches to a busy second half of the season, with a multitude of major televised tournaments on the horizon.
The former BDO number one is competing in this week's Players Championship double-header in Germany and he admits he's even relishing the gruelling Pro Tour commitments, although he's also beginning to focus on his eagerly anticipated Ally Pally debut in December.
"I'm so excited for the Pro Tour in Germany this weekend. So many people have pulled out but I'm absolutely loving every second," said Durrant.
Durrant's BDO Roll of Honour
|3x BDO World Champion|
|2x World Masters Champion|
|3x Finder Darts Masters Champion|
|2018 BDO World Trophy Champion|
"Ask me three or four years into my PDC career and I'll be thinking I wish I could pull out of Hildesheim but I'm loving Barnsley and Wigan - they're both an hour and a half from my home, so I'm enjoying the bread and butter of the PDC.
"For the very first time I'm beginning to think about the Ally Pally now. My thought processes were always on the Matchplay - it was a dream to play there and now I'm just beginning to get things in place for an amazing back end of the year.
"It would be brilliant to have another run and it would be a dream come true to lift a trophy."
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