‘Queen of the Palace’ Fallon Sherrock failed to win a PDC Tour Card after losing on the final day of Qualifying School; field for eight-player 2022 Premier League Darts has yet to be announced after new format was confirmed
Last Updated: 17/01/22 6:14am
Fallon Sherrock’s popularity could justify giving her a place in this year’s Premier League Darts field, according to Laura Turner.
Sherrock missed out on earning a PDC Tour Card as she failed to qualify from Q School last week, but could still be included in the eight-player field for this season’s re-formatted Premier League competition.
The 27-year-old became the first – and remains the only – woman to win a World Championship match, after bursting onto the darts scene by reaching the third round in 2020.
Sherrock re-asserted her big stage credentials by reaching the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts last November, but was unable to improve her Alexandra Palace record with a first-round World Championship defeat in December.
Turner, who plays alongside Sherrock in the PDC Women’s Series, says she understands how organisers could justify including or omitting her rival.
“She’s got to be one of the most commercial assets within darts at the moment,” Turner told Sky Sports. “She’s hot property, everyone wants to see Fallon play.
“Now that we have gone down to eight, it’s very difficult to shoehorn her in based on what we’ve seen, but if they did, it still wouldn’t necessarily surprise me.
“I could understand from the players’ point of view who were on the edge of getting selected the disappointment because of the money involved, but it’s just how you look at it. Darts is a commercial enterprise as much as it is sport and entertainment and everything else.
“It would and it wouldn’t surprise me if she did get a place, and you can warrant it based on just how much people want to see Fallon Sherrock play, but my gut instinct is it will go to the top eight players in the world, or out of the top 10.”
‘Sherrock can grow the sport’
Turner believes that Sherrock’s presence in the Premier League – and at other major events – can help grow the sport’s global profile.
“You ask people who they see in the press, and see regularly, and who people are talking about, then she is a massive name up there because of what she’s achieved,” Turner said.
“It’s a difficult one – you want bums on seats, you want to be selling tickets – she’s opened up darts to completely different audiences and not just more people watching that perhaps wouldn’t have watched before, but also I’ve seen different geographical demographics coming in. You’ve got loads of people in America that turned off American football and actually stopped to watch Fallon play in the World Championships.
“That’s kind of what you want. You want people involved in the sport who are going to get other audiences engaged, that’s how it gets bigger and bigger and better and better. It’s just getting that fine balance between the commercial side of it and also looking after the players that have done so well over the past 24 months on the rankings.”
‘Challenge Tour could lead to second chance’
Sherrock endured a challenging week at UK Q School in Milton Keynes, as she failed to become the second woman to land a spot on the PDC Tour after Lisa Ashton achieved the feat in 2020.
However, Turner believes Sherrock could still make an impact on the pro tour this season if she were to opt into the Challenge Tour and make a strong start.
“Q-School has got to be one of the most brutal playing areas that you can play in,” Turner said. “Some of it is a bit of luck of the draw, some of it is just producing your best performances straight away. Fallon’s had some really good games and close calls but unfortunately, those results just haven’t gone her way.
“Everyone’s vying for that tour card and as we’ve seen, there are some fantastic players who haven’t been able to do it this time and won’t be able to do it next time around either.
“Next weekend will be the first Challenge Tour of the year. Anyone that’s played in Q School can go, and anyone doing well in that first week of Challenge Tour does set themselves up to potentially then be on the pro tour as a backup player.
“I think Challenge Tour is definitely a great place where you can hone your skills, get that match practice in. I think that’s a great opportunity, I think exhibitions are also good, but again, it’s just that one match on a stage. For me personally, I’d just be looking towards the Challenge Tour and just getting more and more match practice.”
Source : Sky Sports