Darts Insights - Dennis Priestley

Former World Champion Dennis Priestley has given his take on darts’ latest superstar in 16-year-old semi-finalist Luke Littler.

The 73-year-old believes the youngster can make it through the final and will meet Luke Humphires as both play their respective opponents in the semi-finals tonight.

Are you shocked at how well Luke Littler has performed? 

DP: No one expected Luke Littler to do as well as he has this year. I think people were just waiting for the wheels to fall off but he’s proven everyone, including me, wrong. He’s shown everything required to be a world champion. 

Scott Williams v Luke Humphries 

DP: I haven’t followed Scott much until this year's World Championships. He’s come up on the blindside and I’ve been really impressed with him. Especially after dumping Michael van Gerwen out in the quarter-finals. He’s shown great quality. 

I still think Luke Humphries will be too strong for him, but Scott has done extremely well to get as far as he has.  

Humphries has experienced a lot of difficulties in his matches up to this point and he’s managed to come through them. His previous match against Joe Cullen was a cracker.  

Humphries' previous tournament wins throughout 2023 have been the key to success so far in the Worlds. I think, if he hadn't won a tournament before coming to Ally Pally, it would’ve been a different story for him. The experience he’s gained has been invaluable to his current success. 

How long can Luke Humphries keep winning things? 

DP: Luke has a good chance of continuing his winning streak. He won’t win everything, but he’s certainly the main man in darts now.  

Luke’s game against Scott Williams will be a tough one, but he’s shown he can come through any situation that arises. Luke is the man of the moment and I expect him to show that. 

Rob Cross v Luke Littler 

DP: Rob Cross has all the tools to handle Luke Littler. He’s proven that before by becoming World Champion in 2018. I knew of Rob before his win, however I’d not heard anything from anyone about Luke Littler until he won the World Youth Championship. What he’s done now, blitzing past everyone in his path, has been a breath of fresh air.  

I hope Luke doesn’t start to feel the pressure in the semi-finals but he could because the prospect of him playing in a semi-final, and possibly even winning the whole tournament is absolutely mind-boggling.  

We’ve seen Luke storm ahead in his last two games against Barney and Brendan Dolan and it could well happen again against Rob Cross.  

Having said that, if Luke does falter, Cross will definitely be there to pick the pieces up. 

Everyone wants a Luke [Littler] v Luke [Humphries] final and I think that will happen. 

Gary Anderson has recently said all the media attention could make Luke Littler’s career go ‘tits up’ - do you agree? 

DP: Gary’s comments were fair. Barry Hearn put too much pressure on another youngster in Josh Rosh previously. Let’s be fair though, Luke Littler has a lot more class, maturity and ability than Josh Rock.  

If Littler wins the Worlds, the PDC will certainly want him to play in the Premier League later this year but if I was his manager, I’d like to wait another year before he does that. I know what the schedule entails and I don’t think it’d do Luke any good to play in the Premier League right now.  

Who will make the final? 

DP: A Littler v Humphries final is the dream and would obviously mean a new world champion. Luke Humphries will win the tournament for me. I thought the pressure would be too much for him but he’s dealt with it and he’s got it all done. 

I think both Luke’s will make the final and Humphries will edge it using his experience. 

When will Luke Littler reach his peak? 

DP: We’re all looking to see if he can improve and that will happen if the people around him don’t allow him to get distracted. Looking at his age, he will get better and he doesn’t have to get much better to be the best in the world. 

He’s virtually as good as the rest now but he just has to remain calm and grounded. The world’s his oyster. He can become a 10x World Champion if he carries on the way he’s going.




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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021