The PDC Development Tour returns this weekend for the first time since lockdown. The Development Tour had only managed to play one weekend of four events before everything was brought to a holt.
There will be three days of consecutive action from the Barnsley Metrodome. Six events will take place, each with £10,000 in prize money on offer. Then, the Unicorn World Youth Championship will take place on Monday 28 September. 96 players will take part, with the final taking place at the Ladbrokes Players Championships Finals in November.
Another big prize for all these young players is a place at the William Hill World Darts Championship. The two players in the Development Tour Order of Merit will earn a spot at the showpiece event. Not only that. but the golden ticket of a tour card is on offer for the two as well.
Ones to Watch
Sport Icons Management has a substantial presence at the Development Tour this weekend, and certainly have players to keep a close eye on.
Ryan Meikle currently sits top of the Development Tour Order of Merit, and has shown how good he can be on the PDC Pro Tour and Euro Tour over the last year. It would be a massive surprise if Miekle wasn’t challenging for everything over the weekend.
Bradley Brooks showed at the start of the year what potential he has. First winning his tour card back at Q-School in January, then a great run at the UK Open in Minehead. If Brooks can rekindle that form, then he will be areal handful over the weekend.
Keane Barry has set the darting world alight over the last year with big wins in the Irish Matchplay, JDC World Championship and the BDO Youth World Championship. We also saw Barry blow some of the best in the world away in the MODUS Live League. Barry could take some stopping in Barnsley this weekend.
Callan Rydz is from the hotbed of darts in the north east of England. He’s got the potential to go all the way to the top. Rydz has made waves in the PDC and we have seen big performances on the Pro Tour and at Ally Pally last year. If Rydz has the right frame of mind he will be one of the top players of the weekend and could very difficult to beat.
Jarred Cole showed during lockdown his game was in a good place during the MODUS Live League. And that practice could prove to be the valuable difference if Cole is to have a successful weekend.
Keelan Kay also got better and better as the MODUS Live League went on. The young man struggled at first but once he found his feet, he settled in well and will be a danger in Barnsley this weekend.
Luke van der Kwast is a very talented young man from Holland. There are high hopes that he could be the next in the long line of darting stars to leave the Netherlands.
Ben McCaffrey is also a young man from the Emerald Isle that could have a big future in the sport. Like van der Kwast, both will be playing in their first Development Tours. The pair may lack in experience, but with a fearless attitude will make up for that.
Over lockdown, we have not seen much of James Beeton, Nathan Care or Ben Smith. The three can’t be written off for that reason. Last year we saw Beeton hit a nine-dart leg in December during one of his runs on the Development Tour. Care also hit his first nine finish earlier this year when he was only 15, and threw some good stuff during the Target Elite One League in the summer.
PDC Unicorn Development Tour
September 25-28, Barnsley Metrodome
Friday 25th September – Events Five & Six
Saturday 26th September – Events Seven & Eight
Sunday 27th September – Events Nine & Ten
Monday 28th September – PDC Unicorn World Youth Championship L96