Fallon Sherrock has set her sights on a return to the PDC World Championship and a Grand Slam of Darts debut after welcoming the chance to end the boredom of the last 18 months at the recently announced Women’s Series.
Sherrock was a guest on the latest episode of The Darts Show podcast and was responding to the news on Tuesday that the PDC plan to offer female players more chances than ever before.
A 12-tournament, six-day series has been announced that will offer £60,000 prize in prize money, but just as importantly a chance to compete on the biggest stages with places at the Grand Slam of Darts and the World Championship up for grabs.
The top two places on an Order of Merit after the three weekends will feature at the World Championship, while each player compiling the most prize money on the second and third weekends will earn a spot at November’s Grand Slam of Darts.
“It’s a great thing for us because now we’ve got to go to Germany and Milton Keynes and Barnsley – it is opening up and we’ve got 12 events,” Sherrock said.
“We had one weekend of it all [last year]. It’s definitely opening opportunities for the women. I hope that the women – especially after lockdown – get back out there and support the event and prove to everyone how we can play.”
Sherrock is no stranger to such opportunity, having earned the right to be at the 2019/20 World Championship with victory in the first-ever women’s qualification event – and she memorably went on to make history with her first-round win over Ted Evetts.
The Queen of the Palace backed that up with a win over Mensur Suljovic before she was beaten in the last 32 by Chris Dobey – but only after her exploits made headlines all over the world.
“It can change your life – it has changed my life,” she added.
“To have the opportunity to play at the World Championship and Grand Slam… I’ve never played at the Grand Slam. For me, that’s one of my goals.
“But for everyone else to try to play at the World Championship, because it’s such a great experience, it’s something we’ve all watched for years and years, to actually get up there and play a game, it can change your life.
“People need to go and put themselves out there, play the game, enjoy it and throw themselves in at the deep end and go, ‘do you know what, I’m going to play at the worlds’.”
Sherrock was forced to look on as Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman made the World Championship last year – and Ashton was joined by Mikuru Suzuki at the Grand Slam of Darts. But with fans set to return to a full capacity Alexandra Palace this year, Sherrock is looking forward rather than back.
“It wasn’t difficult for me watching them play because I had my opportunity – I felt I was good enough but I didn’t do enough to qualify.
“I’d done what I could and it wasn’t good enough. I watched them. I remember Lisa playing so well and she was so unlucky, I was willing them on.”
Fallon Sherrock on Lisa Ashton and Deta Hedman
“I’m not one to sit there and go, ‘I should be there’ or anything like that because I had my shot and it wasn’t good enough. These two women were the best that weekend and they had their shot.
“Having fans back at events is great because I don’t think you realise when there’s no support behind you, you just feel flat. You’re playing a game but it’s just quiet, there’s nothing. When you’ve got the fans behind you, it gives you an adrenaline boost, it’s an electric atmosphere, it just makes the whole game and it makes the whole scenario real.”
Sherrock has been playing in the Live League to stay competitive, and chalked up some impressive victories along the way, including one against the BDO world champion Wayne Warren.
“I’m very bored, I just want to get back out there, get back to events playing darts. I just want to be doing stuff now.
“Where we’ve had nothing to really play in, having the online league gave us the opportunity to perfect our games, get back to playing, and offer a variety of players the opportunity to play.
“I really enjoyed it. At the start, I was like, ‘how do I play, I can’t remember match play!’ But the last time I played in there, I won the whole week. I was so happy with how I performed that week. I’m looking forward to going back to champions week now.
“It’s really helped my game and I assume it’s helped everyone else’s game, getting back to playing.
“Today’s announcement underlines our commitment to providing opportunities to female players.
“Women’s darts continues to enjoy a higher profile than ever before, and we see an expansion of the PDC Women’s Series as the next step in the game’s progression.
“We are pleased that this year’s tour will incorporate events in Germany, reflecting the growth of women’s darts across the world.”
PDC Chief Executive Matthew Porter
PDC Women’s Series 2021
|Events 1-4||H+ Hotel, Niedernhausen, Germany||August 28-29|
|Events 5-8||Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes||September 25-26|
|Events 9-12||Barnsley Metrodome||October 23-24|
But now, following the PDC’s announcement, there is a focus and Sherrock is out to put the agony of last October and February’s Qualifying School disappointment behind her, having missed out on the chance to pick up where she left off.
There’s more time to prove herself now and she’s desperate to take her chance.
“Two legs, it’s fine, I’m over it!” she laughs when reflecting on how close she was to making an Ally Pally return.
“Throughout Q-School, the women’s series, after all of that I felt like I put a lot of pressure on myself.
“I felt like I’d had a lot of pressure to perform and I shouldn’t have been doing that. I should have just gone, played, I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone.
“The past few months I’ve been enjoying it again, not putting any pressure on myself, it’s made me more relaxed and I’m just playing better.
“Practice wise, I’ve been putting in a couple of hours, I’ve been practicing match practice, my finishing because I feel like when my finishing is spot on, put together with my scoring, I’m really happy with that bit of my game.”
Darts is back on your Sky Sports screens later this when the World Cup of Darts gets underway – join us for all four days of coverage from Thursday September 9