Clayton: 'We're all chasing the same dream!'

Jonny Clayton (Jonas Hunold/PDC)

Jonny Clayton insists he’s ‘loving every moment’ of the Cazoo Premier League, as he bids to extend his six-match winning run in the sport’s biggest roadshow.

Following an inauspicious start to his campaign, Clayton has sparked into life with back-to-back nightly wins in Berlin and Birmingham, which has catapulted him into top four contention.

The Welshman was languishing in seventh position a fortnight ago, but suddenly he finds himself in third spot, as he sets his sights on Play-Off qualification for the third consecutive season.

“I am loving every moment of the Premier League,” admitted Clayton, who lifted the coveted title on debut in 2021.

“We’re all having great fun, but we’re out here to do a job.

“In the first half of the season, nothing was going my way. I know I can play darts, it’s just about putting it together up there.

“Obviously I won my first Premier League, I did well last year and I want to be there for Finals Night this year too, so fingers crossed I am!"

Clayton boasts a superb record in the Premier League, and last year he became just the fourth player in the competition’s history to top the league phase, before succumbing to Joe Cullen in the semi-finals.

The 48-year-old celebrated nightly wins in Liverpool, Birmingham, Aberdeen and Glasgow in 2022, although he registered just seven points from the opening eight nights of this year’s event.

Clayton was visibly dejected following his Night Eight defeat to World Cup partner Gerwyn Price, succumbing 6-1 with an 80 average – the lowest of his Premier League career.

However, he has since produced an improbable turnaround, following up success in the German capital with victory in the West Midlands for the second straight season.

This six-match winning run has featured back-to-back wins over reigning champion Michael van Gerwen, and victories over an in-form Price and World Champion Michael Smith.

“I think I’m riding my luck to be honest,” added Clayton, who edged out Peter Wright in a last-leg decider to claim the spoils in Birmingham.

“I feel good. I’m not playing my best darts but I’m getting through games and that is all that counts.

“It is fantastic to see myself back in the top four after being seventh in the league. That is where I want to be – Finals Night!"

Clayton leads Smith and fifth-placed Nathan Aspinall by two points with six nights of league action remaining, and he will bid to extend that cushion on Night 11 at the Brighton Centre.

The former Premier League champion will play world number one Smith in his quarter-final tie on the South Coast, in a repeat of Berlin’s Night Nine decider.

“It doesn’t get any tougher than playing the world number one!” continued Clayton, who was beaten by the St Helens star in Cardiff and Glasgow respectively.

“If you want to make the top four you have to beat the top players, and that’s what I am hoping to do.

“I’m confident I can make the Play-Offs, but it will still be a hard task. I think I’m good enough to be there, but there are eight players chasing the same dream.”

The 2023 Cazoo Premier League will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC's worldwide broadcast partners including DAZN, Viaplay and VTM, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.

2023 Cazoo Premier League
Night 11 - Thursday April 13
The Brighton Centre

Dimitri Van den Bergh v Michael van Gerwen
Chris Dobey v Gerwyn Price
Peter Wright v Nathan Aspinall
Jonny Clayton v Michael Smith

Van den Bergh/Van Gerwen v Dobey/Price
Wright/Aspinall v Clayton/Smith


All matches are best of 11 legs