PDC European Q-School preview part 2

In this second part of my preview of the PDC European Q-School I will focus on the overall favourites, after I’ve focused on the separate European regions in part one of my preview. Again I’ve asked some dartsfans, who in my opinion could be regarded as experts, to offer their insights for previewing this event. Because, as Martin Hawkins put it correctly, ‘’As we all know, Q-School is a rough business, and there is bound to be a few surprising tour card winners’’, I thought with as much input as possible without this becoming a huge report I will be able to offer an overview as good as possible.

For this overall preview I’ve got responses from eight experts and therefore I made the following distinction: the favourites were picked 6 or more times, the outsiders were picked 3, 4 or 5 times, while the players to watch were picked 1 or 2 times.

There are four favourites and if they all make it Dan Hutchinson, Faria Darts Index, Jacopo Ghirardon and Martin Hawkins may be regarded the experts of experts because they selected all those players. Erik Middelkoop and Jacco Krook, who chose his 10 players from 10 different countries, selected three of them, while Andrew Sinclair and Darts World Magazine selected two of them.

Boris Koltsov, one of the three players who received seven votes, is a player knocking on the door for some years now. He just missed a PDC tour card in 2019 but as Jacopo Ghirardon notices rightly: ‘’Would love to see Boris Koltsov winning one, he’s a great player and did well all last season’’ so this might be the year of the Russian Viking.

Jose Justicia held a PDC tour card in 2018 and 2019 and is among the favourites to win one for 2020 and 2021 as well. Martin Hawkins argues: ‘’Some of the players who recently lost their card should probably be considered favourties – like Dirk van Duijvenbode, Zoran Lerchbacher and Jose Justicia.’’

Martijn Kleermaker has impressed many people in 2019. Andrew Sinclair, who is also a co-host of Inside the BDO, says about The Dutch Giant: ‘’ Fantastic operator who has come on leaps and bounds in 2019. Showed that he’s in good form at the BDO Worlds and with the Bull’s team behind him, he’s one to watch.‘’

Dirk van Duijvenbode is the only player who got six votes. Dan Hutchinson, who keeps up a player performance ranking, thinks: ‘’Van Duijvenbode will get one based on his ability to hit big scores and will come good on one of the days.’’

Michael Unterbuchner is the only player with five votes and the next German who might break through in the PDC. Jacopo Ghirardon says: ‘’ Michael Unterbuchner will enter the Q-School and he has the experience to get a PDC tour card.’’

According to the experts Mike de Decker, one of the two players receiving four votes, is Belgium’s hope. As Jacco Krook argues: ‘’Mike de Decker certainly has the ability to win a PDC tour card and did well on the European Tour qualifiers to gain more experience. Therefore the time might be right for De Decker.’’

Zoran Lerchbacher is one of the players most probable to win a PDC tour card again. Jacopo Ghirardon argues: ‘’Surely Zoran Lerchbacher will get one, he was deadly on the PDC Qualifier in Austria which I attended and he’s a solid strong player.’’ The Hypercane however showed he is in great form last weekend winning the Austrian Championship.

Dennis Nilsson, one of the five players receiving three votes, seems to be the Swede to watch out for despite in part one of the preview it would go between Dennis Nilsson and Daniel Larsson if one player from the Nordic/Baltic region had to win a PDC tour card . According to Andrew Sinclair: ‘’Nilsson should have one already to be honest.’’

Karel Sedlacek is definitely the hope of the Czech Republic. As Jacco Krook argues: ‘’Sedlacek has shown what he is capable of at the PDC World Championship 2019 and just missed a PDC tour card in 2019 and had a decent year with some great performances at the PDC European Tour so this might be the moment for Sedlacek.‘’ He however has to do better than he did last week, where he lost the last 16 at the Czech Cup.

Nico Kurz is certainly an outsider, however during the PDC World Championship he argued on Dutch broadcaster RTL7 he wasn’t ready yet to make the step to the PDC Pro Tour. Martin Hawkins is one of the experts convinced about the abilities of the young German: ‘’Nico Kurz looked incredibly cool and calm at the recent World Championship, so if he can keep that up he’d be one of my picks as well.’’ Like Dan Hutchinson some may have chosen not to select Kurz, because according to Dan: ‘’Kurz won’t win a tour card as he is only playing one of the days.’’

Wesley Harms might one as well. Andrew Sinclair says: ‘’Wesley is a brilliant floor player, as shown by his plethora of BDO titles last year. The shorter format will suit him and his scoring well, as long he can make sure he lands his doubles.’’

Wessel Nijman is certainly a young Dutch player with much ability. Martin Hawkins thinks: ‘’A player like Wessel Nijman has shown considerable progress the last couple of years and could be ready to take the next step.’’

Players to watch:

Darts in Poland is booming partly because of the recent results of Krzysztof Ratajski. Sebastian Steyer might be next Polish player to make it to the PDC. For Jacopo Ghirardon: ‘’Sebastian Steyer is also a player I will follow with attention.’’

Andrew Sinclair is one of the two experts thinking Willem Mandigers might make it: ’ While he might not win out overall, his consistency and excellent combination finishing should see him do enough on the OOM. Would be deserved as well for the massive strides he’s taken in the last few years as a player.‘’

Michael Rasztovits from Austria and the Dutch Richard Veenstra also got two votes.

Several players got selected just once. Faria Darts Index, who keeps up a darts power rankings, and therefore might be right with some of them selected five of these by choosing Cody Harris, Daniel Larsson, Jeffrey de Graaf, Johan Engstrom and Andy Baetens. Also Darts World Magazine selected five of them with Chris Landman, Krzysztof Kciuk, James Bailey, Christian Goedl and Wesley Plaisier.

According to Andrew Sinclair Christian Kist, the BDO World Champion of 2012, is a ‘’quality player on his day, showed signs last year that he’s still got it and he’ll be motivated to get back to where he belongs.‘’

The other players receiving one vote are, in alphabetical order, Berry van Peer, Danny van Trijp, Jeffrey van Egdom, Ronny Huybrechts, Thibault Tricole and Ulf Ceder.

Door dartfreakjacco

I'm a huge dartsfan and started, because in my opinion darts media are focusing to much on the highlights and well known players and countries of the darting world. Therefore I want to pay more attention to the dart players and countries throughout Europe.

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