Laura Turner backs Fallon Sherrock to cope with the pressure in the PDC Women's Series
"To be fair, I think that Fallon will deal with it how she has dealt with absolutely everything so far anyway."
By Josh Gorton
Last Updated: 10/08/20 1:05pm
Fallon Sherrock is set to headline the PDC's four-event Women's Series in October and while all eyes will be on the 26-year-old, Sky Sports pundit Laura Turner believes the 'Queen of the Palace' will be able to handle the added expectation.
Sherrock parachuted herself to global stardom with her exploits at last year's PDC World Championship, where she became the first woman to register victory at the sport's biggest event courtesy of wins over Ted Evetts and Mensur Suljovic.
Sherrock will have the opportunity to secure her Alexandra Palace return in October, with the Women's Series offering female players the chance to qualify for both the World Darts Championship and the Grand Slam of Darts.
The mini-tour is set to replace the two separate qualifying events for the World Championship, with two places available at December's showpiece based on prize money won cross the four events between October 17-18 in Cannock.
Sherrock will be expected to secure one of the two spots, but having also featured as a Premier League contender while appearing in the UK Open since her World Championship heroics, Laura Turner expects her to once again thrive under the spotlight.
"To be fair, I think that Fallon will deal with it how she has dealt with absolutely everything so far anyway," Turner told Sky Sports News.
"The attention will be on Fallon and people do forget that Lisa [Ashton] got a tour card, which was another momentous occasion this year.
"I do think that it was the media attention that created worldwide attention of what Fallon did, but it's helped darts as well."
As Turner attests to, although Sherrock's Ally Pally success generated global headlines, Ashton created her own slice of history in January, becoming the first female player to clinch a PDC Tour Card via Qualifying School.
The four-time women's world champion has already claimed notable scalps on the Pro Tour circuit, including a win over newly crowned World Matchplay champion Dimitri Van den Bergh earlier this year.
The strength in depth within the women's game is further exemplified by Mikuru Suzuki - the reigning women's world champion who came agonisingly close to victory at the PDC World Championship days before Sherrock stole the show.
'The Miracle' has made an incredible impression on the women's game over the past 18 months and her back-to-back World Championship titles have contributed to the game's continued growth in Asia.
There is a compelling case to suggest that the women's game has never been in a stronger position, although the uncertainty engulfing the British Darts Organisation is an obvious concern.
This year could mark the first without a women's World Championship since 2000 and Turner insists that the momentum built up over recent years cannot be squandered.
"The list can go on… Anastasia [Dobromyslova], Mikuru [Suzuki], Aileen de Graaf, Deta Hedman - there a lot of women that can play," Turner added.
"If the world was to open up again tomorrow there's not a dedicated women's World Championship at the moment and we don't know what the women's tour with the World Darts Federation potentially could look like… the WDF is another governing body.
"This has come at a perfect time. We now know that there is something that we can go and play in and it's something that women have been asking for a long time - to be part of the professional circuit."
Although much of the focus will be on the trio of Sherrock, Ashton and Suzuki, Turner will also be hoping to make her mark in the Women's Series. The 36-year-old is currently ranked sixth in the world and reached the quarter-finals of January's BDO World Championship.
The Sky Sports pundit also competed in the thriving online darts concept during lockdown, competing against both male and female counterparts in the Remote Darts League.
Turner produced a series of impressive performances which included a victory over WDF World Cup singles champion Darren Herewini, and she believes the PDC's announcement will give her female colleagues the incentive to get back on the practice board over the coming weeks.
"It's just keeping on practicing online as much as you can. With everything, it's about not putting too much pressure on yourself just yet," Turner said.
"We've got a few months until it's coming up. This might give players another reason to get on that practice board.
"With the COVID-19 crisis, darts has just been ahead of everything with online darts, followed by major tournaments coming back and major tours returning. It's different, without crowds it is bizarre but it's gradually getting there."
It's not entirely clear what the future holds for women's darts given the BDO's plight, but the conveyor belt of talent coming through the ranks provides reason for optimism.
The PDC's support of the Development Tour and the Junior Darts Corporation demonstrates their focus on bringing through the sport's brightest talents and Turner believes the next step is to prioritise the women's game.
"I've been part of the Sky Sports commentary team since the Grand Slam back in October and have met a lot of wonderful people and someone who has really, really got behind this is Rod Studd.
"Rod and I have had so many conversations about the women's game. He text me last night and said, 'Yes this what we've been looking for and what we want'.
Fantastic announcement from @OfficialPDC - there is a real need to drive the women’s game forward and this is the kick start it’s been looking for! Now ladies, time to pick up those arrows and get on the practice board! #herecomethegirls #darts #womensseries https://t.co/uQcUyhk1WP— Laura Turner (@LauraTurner180) August 4, 2020
"There are a lot of people who have suggested that this [women's darts] is the only place which hasn't been looked at as a growth area; it's probably going to be the biggest growth area.
"The PDC has looked after age demographics with the JDC tour and the Development Tour. You have got geographical and now this is the next logical step. I am really excited!"
Darts is back on Sky Sports later this month, as the Premier League returns with six consecutive nights of action getting under way on Tuesday, August 25.