Clayton credits Welsh World Cup win for 'next level' step

Jonny Clayton

Newly-crowned Unibet Premier League champion Jonny Clayton believes winning the World Cup of Darts has taken his game to the 'next level'.

Clayton took the stage as underdog on Friday, but walked off as champion after wins over five-time Premier League winner Michael van Gerwen and fellow-debutant Jose de Sousa in front of a sell-out crowd at the Marshall Arena.

After winning the World Cup title for Wales alongside Gerwyn Price, Clayton has embarked upon a sensational run of form which has seen him lift two individual televised titles in 2021.

"When Gerwyn and myself won the World Cup that was the biggest trophy that I'd ever won in darts," explained Clayton, the first Welsh winner of the Premier League.

"I think that just boosted my confidence and in the end it's taken my game to the next level in terms of consistency.

"In my mind I knew that I could play darts and I've just gone on from there, I've just kept it simple really.

"I take everything as it comes but hopefully will add a few more titles, hopefully the Worlds but let's see how it goes.

"Hopefully I'm back next year," Clayton said with a smile.

Clayton made his Premier League debut in February 2020 as a Challenger in Cardiff, but was left disappointed after going down 7-1 to Michael Smith.

Undeterred, the 46-year-old continued his rise up the PDC ranks having only turned professional in 2015.

"It sounds simple, but I just play darts," Clayton reflected. "If my game is good enough to win matches and trophies then fantastic, if not fair play to my opponents.

"Do I play better under pressure? I don't know, maybe.

"It's usually the MvG chant, the Gary Anderson chant, or the Peter wright chant, so to hear a Jonny Clayton chant was absolutely brilliant and something that will live with me forever.

"To be a name in the Premier League is fantastic, but to win a massive title like this really is a dream come true."

Clayton will be in action as Premier League champion for the first time from June 14-17 for Super Series 4, a block of four Players Championship event in Milton Keynes - watch on PDCTV.