Back in 2014 a relatively unknown young man by the name of Kyle Anderson secured his tour card in the PDC. Living in Australia, it was always going to be difficult for ‘The Original’ to forge a career in the BDO due to the very low prize money and huge amount of travelling required to get the ranking points to qualify for the big events but more importantly he also knew that he would have to make some very tough decisions if he was to make a success of a career in darts.
Kyle decided to move over from Australia to the UK to take up darts as a full-time profession and where it is a very difficult decision leaving behind his family, he has make great success of the opportunity his undoubted ability on the dartboard has given him.
Before we look back on what has been a remarkable rise to success I first look back at how Anderson made a name for himself. At the age of 6 Kyle started playing darts before starting to play competitive darts at just 9-year-old; in 2005, at the age of 18 he reached the Australian Grand Masters as he faced Simon Whitlock in the final. Kyle didn’t have much of a career in the BDO and was successful in competitions in his home nation getting to several finals and winning several competitions but did get to the last 72 of the World Masters back in 2010 but it was the winter of 2013 when saw what ‘The Original’ could really do.
Making his debut in the PDC World Championships and in his first televised game he hit an outrageous 9 dart finish against Ian White in a game he lost 3-1 but it was a sign of the metal and ability that is undisputed. His brother Beau was also making his debut in the PDC that day as he faced Colin Lloyd but it was Kyle who push on his career from that day.
On 15/01/14 a couple of weeks after the remarkable 9 darter he secured a tour card for the PDC and he reached his first semi-final just 4 months later. In 2015 he reached the last 32 of the World Championships, the last 16 of the UK Open and the last 32 of the World Matchplay as he continued to rise up the ranking.
2016 though was a very topsy-turvy year for the Aussie. He reached the last 32 of the world championships for the second successive year before reaching his first major quarter final in Minehead at the UK Open. Him and Simon Whitlock reached the quarter finals of the World Cup of Darts and more impressively reached the semi-final of Austrian Open where he beat Michael van Gerwen. A last 16 appearance in the World Matchplay and a quarter final appearance in the European Championships all pointed ahead for a very promising World Championship before visa issues cost ‘The Original’ a chance at pushing towards the top 16 in the world but also the chance to really push on.
Oh, and if you want any more proof that this guy could be one of the top 8 players in the world I leave you with this. Kyle broke the world record average as he faced Terry Jenkins in a player’s championship event in 2015. He hit a 134.84 average in the non-televised event as he defeated Terry 6-1 and the leg he lost he was sat on 46 after 9 darts.
I for one hope Kyle continues to provide entertainment, gets over what must have been a tough and frustrating period of his career and he continues to grow into one of the best players in the world and gets some consistency upon his return. Anderson can play darts with the best of them and he will only get better.
Thanks for joining me Kyle, It's fantastic news that you have recieved your visa so you can return to the UK, how are you feeling right now about being able to compete in PDC events again ?
" It's a very big relief as I was contemplating getting on the computer and refreshing my CV for possible interviews back here, it was scary first being refused then applying and being sent back and eventually getting the green light so was very happy bloke when it was decided "
Whilst back home in Australia, have you been participating in any Darts competitions etc ?
" I played in one tournament in Tennant Creek, drove 2000km for the tournament, first time in seven years I had played in the tournament, It was a good hit out as I won the tournament and picked up a golden nugget "
Obviously missing two big PDC televised tournaments in the Players Championship Finals and of course the William Hill World Darts Championship, please describe how you felt about missing these events ?
" It wasn't just them events I missed I also missed a few players championships events as well. They all were bitter and hard pill to swallow. The uncertainty of knowing if I'd thrown my last darts on TV or UK soil "
2016 was a pretty good year for you as you as you into the World's top 32, what are your targets and ambitions for 2017 ?
" As high as I can get, being home for as long as I have been, It gave me sometime to think about it all.. being away and earning what I need to... top 20 would be ideal but it what I make it to be and I want to succeed "
Your new management team (The Sportsman Management Company ) are known for nurturing talent, just how has it gone since you signed up with the team ?
" It has gone well, I've been well looked after on a personal basis not just professional. Mac understands my predicament with being away and the emotions that I go through on a regular basis, plus he now understands me family and where I am from. He has been a big help with things away from the board "
How supportive have the people been back home in Australia about your VISA issues ?
" A lot, The guys have given me their support, A lot didn't understand how hard indeed it was and what was meant to be done from our side, the duration of the waiting of admin side was most of it. They just wished me luck and said I deserve to be there and just generally checked how I was "
Recently, Corey Cadby joined The Sportsman Management company, were you aware of Corey's talent and progress prior to him joining TSMC ?
" I had heard of Corey and how well he was playing, I hadn't met Corey before I went home in June for a couple of shows. I'd known his dad for a couple years and played against him. Myself and Corey were in McDonald's and I got to know the boy a bit and he's got My sense of humour which is very good "
It is nearly three years since you earned your PDC tour card, just how much have you learned about the organisation and found a way to progress into the World's top 32 ?
" I just play my game to be honest. I go to tournaments and have a laugh play my game and go home. I think I've always been a mature player but I'd probably say I'd learnt to be more professional in a sense of things "
Obviously we have seen how much talent there is on the DPA circuit, do you think any other players could make the switch to the PDC in the future ?
" It's a very big move. I was lucky that my wife had agreed to come across at the initial stage, it's a lot more than just playing darts or making money. Definitely there are a lot of players that are capable of doing so, it's just the logistics of it all. If the shoe was on the other foot I don't think a lot of Europeans would try and relocate to Australia in hope of being a professional AFL player "
You obviously have spent a long time away from the family while playing on the tour, it must be nice to of spent quite a lot of time back with them, but now with your visa in your possession are you looking forward to competing again ?
" It definitely has been good to be home, but the circumstances aren't a happy one as I mentioned before. Have been wanting to compete as soon as I landed back so I'm gonna be ready for the UK Open qualifiers and let's hopefully get into the finals and Minehead again "
Having missed so many tournaments, has that made you more hungry to win on your return ?
" No hasn't made me more hungry has made me miss the competition.. your always hungry and wanting to succeed, if your not then you should pack it up. Every game I want to win... so let's bring on 2017 PDC Tour "
DPA's UK reporter Tom Beresford