LUKE HUMPHRIES has set his sights on World Youth Championship glory following his spectacular run to the quarter-finals of the William Hill World Darts Championship in just his second televised appearance.
The 23-year-old fought back from two sets down to end Rob Cross' reign as World Champion in a brilliant display to book a place in the last eight, where he was eventually beaten by current world number six Michael Smith.
Humphries, who won the PDC Unicorn Development Tour in both 2017 and 2018, was making only his second televised appearance at the World Championship.
Reflecting on his first year on the ProTour, Humphries admits that he is still learning and would love to follow in the footsteps of Max Hopp and Dimitri Van den Bergh by winning the PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship.
“You’ve got to set yourself big targets. A main target of mine is to be World Youth Champion,” Said Humphries.
“I have one more year left and it is something that every youngster wants to win, I’m looking to put myself on that list now.
“I’m still experiencing new things. It’s a great learning curve for me and I’ve enjoyed my time here so much, I’m really thankful.
“Losing that game will still change my life and I am hoping to kick on from this and make a name for myself even more than I have already.”
Former roofer Humphries, who turns 24 in February, is looking to build on his superb breakthrough display at the tournament, and is still eligible to play in the Development Tour in 2019.
Humphries has forced himself into the world top 57, moving up 33 places in the Order of Merit, and is now determined to progress further in the upcoming campaign.
“I’m going to be looking to qualify for a lot more televised tournaments – I’m looking to qualify for them all,” Humphries continued.
“If I can keep playing like I have in previous games, I can keep having good runs in all the big tournaments. I’m 57th in the world now, and that makes me a big-time player.
“Give me another three years and see what else can I achieve, I could be a World Champion. I’ve got to live up to the expectation.”
Humphries, who hit two ton-plus checkouts including a 170 in his quarter-final defeat, believes Smith is a World Champion in waiting.
“He’s a fantastic player, he did things that I haven’t experienced so far, he didn’t let me relax and that’s what a World Champion would do," Humphries added.
“I think that he will be a World Champion, he will be in time. He is not just a great player but he’s also a lovely guy.
Written by Jamie Ward.