By Alex Moss
15 JANUARY 2017 • 11:58PM
“My dream is to play in the PDC, but holding this trophy, that seems a million miles away.”
Those were the words uttered by BDO number one Glen Durrant, just moments after he beat Danny Noppert 7-3 to win the Lakeside World Professional Darts Championship for the first time, earlier this evening.
While Durrant has been the man dominating the BDO circuit over the last two years, winning the Winmau World Masters, Finder Darts Masters, as well as countless other titles, the biggest one of them all has alluded him until now.
The BDO World Championship has, until tonight, been a tournament filled with heartache for Duzza. Narrow defeats to Martin Adams (2015) and Scott Waites (2016) in the last two years have left the proud Teessider quite visibly distraught afterwards.
But he has battled through adversity and has come out the other side with the World Championship trophy in his hands. Durrant will forever be remembered as a world champion, a tag which him and only 27 other men can lay claim to.
Yet while Durrant will, quite rightly, take the plaudits from his latest triumph, talk of his future in the sport has reached fever pitch. By this time tomorrow evening we will know where Durrant’s future lies, will he be staying with the BDO, or is he jumping ship to the PDC?
Durrant did not detract from the big question when asked on Channel 4 after his victory in the final, and said he would need a few days to sit down with his management to discuss his options. But the reality is, if he is going to give the PDC a go this year he will need to make up his mind quickly.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn no longer dangles the carrot of a tour card in front of the semi-finalists at Lakeside, instead they will need to come through the minefield that is Qualifying School later this week.
The deadline for entries into this year’s Q-School, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, is at 2PM tomorrow, meaning any potential switchers from the BDO now have less than 24 hours to make up their minds.
Will Durrant make the switch? If you would have asked me on Wednesday evening when he was three sets down against Paul Hogan and facing elimination from Lakeside in the second round, I would have said yes.
Now that we’ve seen him come back from that and go on and win the title for the first time, I’m not so sure.
Durrant has said in plenty of interviews over the last two years if he was to win the World Championship at Lakeside he would “honour the trophy” and come back and defend it the following year.
Only John Lowe (in 1994) and Stephen Bunting (in 2015) have not appeared at Lakeside the year after winning at Lakeside since the split, will Durrant add his name to that list?
Durrant turned 46 last November and away from darts has a full-time job as a housing officer. There are obvious benefits in whichever code he decides to play in for the rest of 2017.
As the newly crowned BDO world champion, Durrant will have a whole host of opportunities come his way over the next 12 months. He will not be short of exhibition work in 2017.
As the world champion I can see him taking great pride in showcasing the trophy all around the country, and I’m sure he would do a sterling job in flying the flag for the BDO.
If the qualification criteria stays the same, Durrant will be in the Grand Slam again in 2017, and he is guaranteed to be at Lakeside for the next few years.
It means he can spend less time travelling and chasing ranking points playing in tournaments, instead he can focus on the roles and responsibilities of being a world champion.
Giving Q-School a go represents a whole new challenge for Durrant. From conquering the BDO’s biggest tournament and being at the top of the rankings this evening, he will be back at square one and battling it out against hundreds and hundreds of players for a PDC tour card just a few days later.
With that comes a lot of added pressure, and after achieving his dream of becoming world champion in the BDO, will Durrant want to start from scratch so soon after that triumph?
Whether it’s BDO or PDC for Durrant for the rest of 2017, it will be a life-changing year for the Teessider and a 12 months which he will never forget.