Colin Lloyd believes it’s time for Joe Cullen to push on after ‘The Rockstar’ defeated Michael van Gerwen to win his first European Tour title earlier this month.
Cullen defeated three-time BDO world champion Glen Durrant and reigning European Champion James Wade to reach the European Darts Matchplay final, before producing a clinical display to defeat Van Gerwen 8-5 in the showpiece.
This saw the 30-year-old claim his third PDC ranking title and speaking on the Darts Show podcast, Lloyd believes it’s time that Cullen translates his latest triumph into sustained success.
The former world No 1 discussed the speculation surrounding November’s Grand Slam of Darts, with Leighton Bennett and Mikuru Suzuki among those to be touted for a spot in the cross-code event in Wolverhampton.
Former Lakeside finalist Fallon Sherrock featured on the latest podcast and with two women’s qualifiers set to take place later this year for the 2020 World Championship, Lloyd also reflected on the continued growth of the women’s game.
Time for Cullen to kick on
Joe’s been such a good player over the years, but to me sometimes, he gets a massive win – he’s won on the Tour before, then all of a sudden I want him to push on a bit more.
I want him to win regularly, because he is a class player. He’s a great player and he doesn’t fear anyone. When he goes up there he sometimes makes it look so easy.
He played fabulously, I just want him to push on a bit more now, because he knows he can do it, I just don’t want him to want it too much. Just let it happen, because he’s good enough.
He believes in his own ability. This is starting to get to the pivotal part of the year now where there are lots of tournaments coming up, lots of big big tournaments.
For him to get a win like that, especially over the world No 1 and current world champion in MVG, that’s a massive confidence booster.
Bennett for the Grand Slam?
The question of whether Leighton [Bennett] or Mikuru [Suzuki] liven up the practice room – you’ve also got to remember that Leighton is only a 13-year-old lad.
Yes he’s got all the ability in the world and by the looks of things he is going to be a class player, but he’s going to be playing in a major event, not a small event, a huge event.
You’ve got to protect him a little bit. You can’t let him get too lairy, but you don’t want him to sit back on himself. Will the moment get to him? Will he go into a bit of a shell?
The only way we’re going to find out is if they put him in the Grand Slam. Put him in it and let him experience that atmosphere.
The growth of the women’s game
I’ve always said it and I’ve always been a big believer in it – there are some fantastic ladies players out there. There’s a young girl called Beau Greaves, she is ripping it up at the minute, she’s playing absolutely brilliant.
Fallon [Sherrock] is playing great, Anastasia won a tournament the other weekend with a 100.20 average in a semi-final; you’ve got Deta Hedman up there.
You’ve got so many great players that are still ripping it up. I think a good few of them will come to Qualifying School. They’re not scared of playing the men.
Barry Hearn has rightly said: ‘This is a tour’. If you think you’re good enough come and have a go. The first part of that tour is you’ve got to get a Tour Card and there are some great players at Q School.
As for whether you should have a separate ladies tour, you’d have to talk to the PDC about that, because then you are talking about finding more prize money, you’re talking more work behind the scenes, the logistics of it all.