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Sep 12 2014

Jabba expects fiercely competitive Players Championship return

Jamie Caven has warned his world top 20 compatriots to expect rivals made hungrier for darts glory by an extended break this weekend.

The Players Championship returns to Crawley for rounds 13 and 14 on Saturday and Sunday, with some throwing a competitive arrow for the first time since the beginning of July.

With just a select few qualifying for this summer’s European Tour and World Series events as well as the BetVictor World Matchplay, many PDC aces have spent frustrating weeks at the practice board.

Jabba – represented by leading darts firm UK Sports Management – expects many to channel that frustration into positive form.

The Unicorn Darts user said: “I’m looking forward to being back on the floor. There are going to be a lot of players that are hungry for success because they have not been playing Pro Tour darts since before the Matchplay – they’ve had quite a break.

“Everybody has got to be on their guard and be prepared for what’s coming as there will be a lot of people wanting to succeed.

“It certainly helped playing on the European Tour because a lot of players, I thought, were pretty rusty and you heard a lot of comments from players saying they hadn’t really done a lot during their break.

“If they had a break, it may take another couple of weeks for them to get right with their A game. On the flip side, there will be a lot of tour players that haven’t had too much competitive action and will have been hammering the practice board.

“It’s like on open again, where there are so many good players who have been playing well and you don’t know quite what to expect. I’m sure everyone is ready to come back to action.”

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Having beaten Andy Hamilton in Sindelfingen last weekend, Mr Tax and CP Cases Scotland-backed Caven bowed out of the European Grand Prix in a thrilling 6-5 encounter with Robert Thornton.

Jabba had trailed 5-1 but rattled off four legs on the spin, levelling with a stunning 164 checkout only to lose the decider.

Although in the midst of a hectic calendar, Caven said he would not have it any other way. “It’s constant now, you have to put the time in and make sure that you’re shipshape,” he said.

“We’re in Germany next week for the final European Tour of the year. We’ve got a weekend off where I’ll be playing with Wayne Mardle in Skegness before we’ve got Lock, Stock and Three Smoking Arrows at the Ricoh Arena.

“Dublin and the World Grand Prix isn’t too far away either, so looking forward everything is coming along quickly.

“I think everybody is excited. We’re in the run-up to the World Championships as well, which certainly isn’t far away either.”