Crowd-pleaser Aspinall relishing return of packed arenas

Nathan Aspinall (Kais Bodensieck, PDC Europe)

Nathan Aspinall will be going out to entertain the Amsterdam crowd as the Jack's World Series of Darts Finals begins on Friday.

Aspinall is in action at AFAS Live against popular Dutchman Vincent van der Voort as the 24-player event begins, with their tie being arguably the pick of the first round.

The former UK Open champion reached the semi-finals of the Cazoo European Championship a fortnight ago, and despite going up against a Dutch favourite on Friday is relishing the chance to compete in front of packed arenas again.

"I've missed the crowd so much," said Aspinall, reflecting on having played behind closed doors and in reduced-capacity venues in the past 18 months. "I've said before that it has affected me, and I get the crowd going.

"They absolutely love me, which is brilliant for me and the family back at home, and it's an amazing feeling.

"Every time I go on that stage I try and entertain and perform for the crowd. They've paid their money and that spurs me on to produce some good stuff.

"When I hit the 180s and the crowd gets going, it's an amazing feeling."

World Series of Darts Finals tickets

Aspinall's European Championship semi-final is one of three times in the past five weeks he has reached that stage on the circuit, while he also landed a nine-darter in a Players Championship last week.

The former US Darts Masters champion is now aiming to continue that form on the big stage, as he targets places in both the Premier League and World Series in 2022.

"You don't want to talk too early, but I've done two years of the Premier League and I've not experienced it properly yet because of the pandemic," he admitted.

"I want to do the full circuit next year - I'm trying everything in my power to get back in that top eight and win tournaments so that the Board of Directors can't not pick me.

"The World Series is coming back next year, that's the pinnacle of the sport and that's where I want to be and that's where I belong. But I don't belong there if I don't put the hours in, and that's what I'm doing.

"It's been tough because we've been doing a month spells and then nothing for a month, but we're playing all the time at the moment and that helps.

"The results are starting to show and it's only a matter of time until I pick another title up."

Aspinall was one of the stars of the European Championship in Salzburg, eventually only losing out to Michael van Gerwen in a deciding leg in the semi-finals.

"I've been working hard and it's nice to see it paying off," he said. "I played probably the best I've played in a tournament for two or three years. 

"It's nice to get to the latter stages and I threw everything at Michael. You can't give one of the best players in the world a 7-1 head start, but I dug deep and I'm proud of myself to take it to the last leg.

"I'll take loads of positives from that event and I'm looking forward now to the big end of the year."


The tournament will be broadcast live on ITV4 in the UK, through the PDC's international broadcast partners including DAZN and RTL7, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

Jack's World Series of Darts Finals
Schedule of Play
Friday October 29 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
First Round x8 

Kim Huybrechts v Michael Smith
Krzysztof Ratajski v Gabriel Clemens
Maik Kuivenhoven v John Henderson
James Wade v Mervyn King
Niels Zonneveld v Dave Chisnall
Jeffrey de Zwaan v Dirk van Duijvenbode
Nathan Aspinall v Vincent van der Voort
Jose de Sousa v Danny Noppert

Saturday October 30 (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x8

Madars Razma v Wade/King
Gary Anderson v Zonneveld/Chisnall
Jonny Clayton v Aspinall/Van der Voort
Dimitri Van den Bergh v De Sousa/Noppert
Fallon Sherrock v Ratajski/Clemens
Peter Wright v Huybrechts/Smith
Gerwyn Price v De Zwaan/Van Duijvenbode
Michael van Gerwen v Kuivenhoven/Henderson

Sunday October 31
Afternoon Session (1245 local time, 1145 GMT)


Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 GMT)