Gerwyn Price on dealing with booing, toning down his celebrations and the Premier League Darts season

Gerwyn Price (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Gerwyn Price (Picture: Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

Gerwyn Price admits being forced to tone down his celebrations in the wake of his £21,500 fine and suspended sentence means he'll have to resort to his 'B Game' this season.

The Welshman was slapped with the unprecedented punishment by the Darts Regulation Authority in the wake of his conduct during last November's Grand Slam of Darts, where he won a highly controversial final against Gary Anderson.

Not only has Price firmly become the crowd's pantomime villain since that unforgettable night in Wolverhampton, but should he breach any of the new DRA Rules up to and including July 11 this year, he will be banned from competing for three months.

The former rugby player, who reached a career high sixth in the Order of Merit prior to the World Championship after a superb second half of the season which also included a first European Tour title, has subsequently endured three successive defeats in TV tournament tournaments and puts some of that down to the 'rubbish' he's had to deal with.

On his return to the oche for the first time since receiving the fine, Price cut quite a subdued figure during his Masters defeat to James Wade and clearly showed his intent to tone down his celebrations, even for the big checkouts.

The 33-year-old insists his celebrations are only to fire himself up and get the best of his game - and not in any way aimed at putting opponents off - but now feels he can't be himself on stage due to the suspended sentence hanging over him.

He told Sporting Life Darts: "A £21,500 fine says I'm not allowed to celebrate! What do I do? I can't celebrate now so I'll have to play my B Game now like in the Masters - that was a player who wasn't me.

"I have to learn a whole game and a different me so it's going to be tough over the next few months but I'll come out of the end of it stronger.

"Everyone has their own opinion about me and they're entitled to it - but I come across differently on TV perhaps. I am who I am - I'm not a cheat, I'm not trying to put anyone off. I'm up there to perform the best of my ability and I'll do what I can to make myself perform well.

"But I think some parts of that have been taken away from me, which is unfair and I'm having to play my B Game now for the rest of the season."

Price feels the rules on player conduct should have been clarified and updated in the past, and not in the wake of the Grand Slam of Darts.

He said: "If I'm not allowed to do certain things then it should have been in the rules early on but they weren't. Now they are, but it's a bit late now."

Last week Michael Smith told Sporting Life Darts that players may try to get their own back on Price now and goad him into overstepping the mark again but the Welshman said: "I'm a professional, so I'll deal with any circumstances. I can deal with crowd, the players and my own emotions. They can try and do what they want but they'll get nothing out of me other than my best performance."

In the future he'd love to change his walk-on music to 'This Is Me' from the hit film The Greatest Showman, but currently isn't allowed to. He said: "I asked for it but they won't let me have it! I'm still going to be pushing for it, because I really want it. I just don't know how they'll get round the Film rights issue."

Scroll down for Price on the boo boys and the Premier League

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Dealing with the boo boys

The booing which rang out during his trophy ceremony at the Grand Slam of Darts continued into his next three tournaments - the Players Championship Finals, World Championship and the Masters - and he lost his opening game in all of them.

He led 2-0 in sets against Nathan Aspinall at the Alexandra Palace but as he approached victory the hostile atmosphere played its part in knocking him off his stride.

Price concedes it's not easy to play in that environment but is determined to block it out and hope the booing will die down in months to come.

Scroll down for his quotes on the crowds

He said: The last couple of tournaments I haven't shown that but as you can imagine from the rubbish I've had off the back of the Grand Slam of Darts win - it's been tough for me with the crowd and things but I'm learning to deal with it and will come back stronger.

"The booing doesn't really bother me but it would be easier if it wasn't there. The hardest part is when you're coming to the finish line and they boo you when you're aiming at doubles. That's the hardest bit but I try my best to block it out as best I can.

"I do have support but sometimes there's parts of the crowd who just jump on the bandwagon and they don't realise what they're booing for - some people start it off and others then continue with it. I'm just it'll taper off over the next couple of months but if it doesn't, it doesn't.

"There's nothing I can do to stop the crowd doing it but if I play well and get in front then maybe that's the best way to keep them quiet."

Premier League ambitions

Gerwyn Price is gearing up for his second crack at the Premier League season and has vowed to give everything to reach the play-offs.

The Welshman admits he struggled to deal with his disappointing debut campaign, in which he failed to win a match and finished bottom, and let it get on top of him but the way he recovered since then has given him the confidence to believe he has what it takes.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to it to be honest. Last year I didn't know what to expect but now I know exactly what it entails with all the travelling and everything that goes with it so I'm just hoping to get a couple of wins under my belt early on.

"It was probably my own doing and I dragged myself down a bit. After week three I was just turning up, didn't want to be there and had little motivation. The ProTour events were more important to me than the Premier League at the time - for ranking points - and the travelling took its toll.

"But now I know what to expect, I'll give it 100% and stop feeling sorry for myself.

"Apart from James Wade being in and Simon Whitlock being out, it's the same field as last year minus Gary Anderson. I was confident coming into it last year and I'm definitely confident coming into it again this year. It's important to get a couple of points early on. Last year the opening three weeks and travelling got on top of me and I wasn't winning games. And because I was down in the dumps with that, I wasn't winning games on the Pro Tour.

"I just need to be positive this year and get some points on the board."

Price is the 50/1 outsider to lift the trophy and as big as 3/1 to reach the play-offs but the Iceman insisted: "I never look at the bookies or the betting side of things but I'm always confident going into whatever event it is. And with the Premier League I believe I can get a top four spot. I'm a major winner now and overall I'm in the best run of form I've been in for a number of years."

Premier League Darts 2019: Dates, fixtures, venues & results

Night 1, February 7
Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • James Wade v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Gerwyn Price v Daryl Gurney
  • Chris Dobey v Mensur Suljovic
  • Michael van Gerwen v Michael Smith
  • Peter Wright v Rob Cross

Tickets: 0844 493 6666 or click here

Night 2, February 14
SSE Hydro, Glasgow
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Peter Wright v Michael Smith
  • Rob Cross v James Wade
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Gerwen Price
  • Daryl Gurney v Glen Durrant
  • Mensur Suljovic v Michael van Gerwen

Tickets: 0844 395 4000 or click here

Night 3, February 21
3Arena, Dublin
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Gerwyn Price v James Wade
  • Steve Lennon v Peter Wright
  • Michael van Gerwen v Rob Cross
  • Michael Smith v Daryl Gurney
  • Mensur Suljovic v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 0818 719 300 (Ire) or click here

Night 4, February 28
Westpoint Arena, Exeter
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Luke Humphries v Gerwyn Price
  • Daryl Gurney v Rob Cross
  • Mensur Suljovic v Peter Wright
  • Michael van Gerwen v James Wade
  • Michael Smith v Raymond van Barneveld

Night 5, March 7
BHGE Arena, Aberdeen
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Michael Smith v Rob Cross
  • Daryl Gurney v James Wade
  • Mensur Suljovic v Gerwyn Price
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Peter Wright
  • Michael van Gerwen v John Henderson

Tickets: 08444 77 9000 or click here

Night Six, Thursday March 14
Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Nathan Aspinall v Michael Smith
  • James Wade v Mensur Suljovic
  • Rob Cross v Raymond van Barneveld
  • Gerwyn Price v Michael van Gerwen
  • Peter Wright v Daryl Gurney

Tickets: 0843 373 3000 or click here

Night Seven - Thursday March 21
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Berlin
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Gerwyn Price v Rob Cross
  • James Wade v Peter Wright
  • Michael van Gerwen v Daryl Gurney
  • Michael Smith v Mensur Suljovic
  • Max Hopp v Raymond van Barneveld

Tickets: 030 20 60 70 88 99 (Ger) or click here

Night Eight - Wednesday March 27
Rotterdam Ahoy
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Gerwyn Price v Michael Smith
  • James Wade v Dimitri van den Bergh
  • Rob Cross v Mensur Suljovic
  • Peter Wright v Michael van Gerwen
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Daryl Gurney

Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or click here

Judgement Night - Thursday March 28
Rotterdam Ahoy
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Daryl Gurney v Mensur Suljovic
  • Peter Wright v Gerwyn Price
  • Rob Cross v Jeffrey de Zwaan
  • Raymond van Barneveld v Michael van Gerwen
  • James Wade v Michael Smith

Tickets: 0900 300 1250 (Ned) 0031 88 123 24 25 (Outside Ned) or click here

Fixtures for Nights Ten-16 will be confirmed following Judgement Night.

Night Ten - Thursday April 4
The SSE Arena, Belfast
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 028 9073 9074 or click here

Night 11 - Thursday April 11
M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 0344 8000 400 or click here

Night 12 - Thursday April 18
Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 029 2022 4488 or click here

Night 13 - Thursday April 25
Arena Birmingham
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 0844 338 0338 or click here

Night 14 - Thursday May 2
The Manchester Arena
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 0844 249 1000 or click here

Night 15 - Thursday May 9
The FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 0114 256 5656 or click here

Night 16 - Thursday May 16
First Direct Arena, Leeds
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Four Matches

Tickets: 0844 248 1585 or click here

Play-Offs - Thursday May 23
The O2, London
TV Channel: Sky Sports (1900 GMT)

  • Two semi-finals and a final

Tickets: 0844 856 0202 or click here

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