Today we have an exclusive Darts Mad interview with Jermaine Wattimena. Like all the stars of the PDC Jermaine Wattimena is stuck at home like the rest of us so what better time for a chat with current world number 24 ” The Machine Gun”.
Darts Mad interview with Jermaine Wattimena
Thanks for taking the time to chat with Darts Mad Jermaine. The fact that normal life and professional darts is on hold at the moment is frustrating for everybody, so the first question has to be how you are coping and are you managing to train?
For the first 12 or 13 days I took a step back from the darts but am now back hitting the board putting in the training hours. Other than that I get through the days watching series and films and playing board games with the family.
We see on social media that a lot of players are using various apps to train against, and some are even playing against each other using streaming and the apps to play each other. Is this something you have been using as well?
Ive been using these apps for the last 2 days as its always nice to play someone after two hours of solid training.
You are managed by Mac Elkin in a team full of international stars. What was it that attracted you to sign with this team?
I’ve been with Mac’s team (The Sports Management Company LTD) since March of 2015. Mac was the first to approach me personally and we hit it off straight away.
Your darts sponsor is Bulls, a German company with a long history in the sport of darts. What attracted you to go with Bulls for all your darts equipment?
A few years ago Jerry Hendriks came up to me at a eurotour qualifier and mentioned that the owner of Bulls (also Jerry’s sponsor) was present and that it would be a good idea if he introduced me to him. We had a good chat together and I signed with them straight away.
The big advantage of working with Bulls is their loyalty. Back in 2015 they offered me an attractive contract to help me advance my career as a darts player, this contract was recently improved to help my career even more. The great communication with Bulls and I certainly is an important factor for me too.
You mentioned before we started the interview that unfortunately due to COVID-19 one of your sponsors has been forced to stop. As sponsors of players ourselves we can certainly understand that companies might struggle to maintain sponsorships in these difficult times. In two sentences try to sell yourself to new sponsors for when things start up again.
That is unfortunately the case yes as Mark Benn of FX Security has had to pull out. I want to take this opportunity to that Mark for his valuable support, we have had a great partnership and I wish him all the very best in these difficult times.
In terms of selling myself to new sponsors at this moment in time is not a priority. At the moment I would much rather see that we all get through these difficult times healthy and safe as this is far more important. Once through this crisis we can all take stock and re-evaluate then.
By winning a tour card at Q-School back in 2015 you made the switch from the BDO, where you won two titles, to the PDC ranks. Was the PDC always the plan or could you have carried on in the BDO for a while longer?
The PDC was certainly always the goal. I remember the BDO world championships qualifiers in 2014 where I lost in the final round. I had a brilliant match with Cedric Waegemans of Belgium who played an outstanding match meaning I just missed qualifying for the Lakeside.
3 weeks later there was a PDC world championship qualifier in Cafe D’N Beer in Rosmalen and immediately entered that. I played really well all day beating Dimitri van den Bergh, Jerry Hendriks, and Davyd venken before defeating Kenny Neyens in the final.
After the world championships (Jermaine lost to Robert Marijanovic in the preliminary round) I did wonder if it was too soon to enter Q-School. I decided to give it a go and qualified and have had held my tour card ever since so Im glad I went!
In October of last year you reached the quarter finals of the World Matchplay, your best performance so far in a PDC major. How much confidence did the run in Dublin give you in your ability as a darts professional?
Yes that was a great tournament for me and a massive boost to the confidence. I had two big wins against Adrian Lewis and Peter Wright before losing out to Glen Durrant (3-2 in sets), definitely something to build on!
What do you expect from the rest of the season once it starts up again?
Well for the moment I am just going to keep training to hopefully ensure that I am in form as soon as we start the tournaments again. I certainly want to win a tournament after losing out in a number of finals so far.
I really want to keep progressing as I have for the past few years as I certainly have nothing to complain about so far.
I really don’t have a particular player I prefer as in order to win a tournament you have to be able to beat them all.
Least favorite opponent?
Krzysztof Ratajski, he always plays to a really high standard and for some reason has become a bit of a bogeyman for me.
Favorite tournament and why?
I honestly love any tournament that I get to play in. In terms of the location it has to be the World Matchplay in the winter gardens in Blackpool but of course the big one in Ally Pally is a favorite as its the one everybody wants to be a part of.
Thank you very much indeed for taking this time to talk to us Jermaine. We wish you and the family all the best at this difficult time and all the very best once the tournaments start up again!
Thank you guys. To all the darts fans I would just like to say that together we can beat the corona virus and I hope you all stay safe and healthy, take care everyone!
This interview is also available in Dutch