MARTIN SCHINDLER believes he is playing the darts of his life having qualified for the 2018 bwin Grand Slam of Darts and next year’s staging of the event on the same day.
Schindler enjoyed a memorable day in Wigan on Monday, booking his place in Wolverhampton by coming through the PDC Tour Card Holders qualifier, following up his earlier qualification for the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship final, which ensures his spot in the 2019 Grand Slam.
Having started his darting journey working as a steward on European Tour events, the exciting young German has continued his fairy-tale rise to big-time darts by making great strides in 2018.
“I would say that I’m playing the darts of my life, I'm not really sure how I took my game to the next level so fast but I'm playing phenomenal darts this year and I’m hoping to carry on,” said Schindler, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals alongside Max Hopp.
“To qualify for the Grand Slam and the World Youth Final on the same day was an absolutely great feeling, I made sure I was well-rested so that I had enough energy for the whole day and it turned out to be the best decision for me.
“I played some great darts in both qualification tournaments and I’m very happy about those achievements.”
Since making his World Championship debut in December 2017, Schindler has featured in three televised tournaments - the UK Open, German Darts Masters and European Championship, while also delighting German crowds regularly on the European Tour.
The 22-year-old has become a cult hero among German fans and has provided them with some sensational moments this year, including a recent stunning 6-0 demolition of Mervyn King, while also performing well in the contrasting environment of the ProTour.
“There have been some great games this year for me, I have to mention my win against Michael van Gerwen in a Players Championship event - this is an achievement I could never have really thought of,” Schindler continued.
“It is an advantage to play in Germany, because the support is great, but it also puts so much pressure on my shoulders.
“You want to perform for them and they are so loud, which makes focusing very difficult sometimes. It’s hard for me to feel like a star because I’m just little Martin from a small village in Germany.
“It was also amazing to play at Ally Pally last year, which was a very good feeling, so in the end there is not an exactly answer - it’s a great feeling to play in Germany but I also like playing in front of crowds in England.”
The German number two will make his Grand Slam debut on Saturday as he takes on Stephen Bunting in his first game of Group G, which also includes two-time TV title winner Mensur Suljovic and Scott Mitchell.
“I just need to take my chances, if I can do that then I probably have a chance of getting through but it won’t be easy because there is some great quality in my group,” added Schindler.
“Mensur is top seed, but he will have the most pressure because everybody expects that he will get through without any defeats, so there is maybe a chance for me to win against him.
“Bunting and Mitchell are both World Champions in the BDO, they both have more experience than me, but I think if I can score high enough, which I’m capable of, then I can win these games.
“It won’t be easy at all and I'm just trying to enjoy the time – I’m looking forward to it.”
The bwin Grand Slam of Darts features stars of the PDC and BDO systems from November 10-18 at the Aldersley Leisure Village in Wolverhampton live on Sky Sports, with tickets available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk or by calling 0870 320 7000.