It is a priviledge this week to bring you all an interview with one of the best players to come out of Northern Ireland – Denise Cassidy. The former winner of WDF Europe Cup, Finalist WDF World Cup, winner of BDO NI Open, Semi Finalist of the World Masters, winner of many NIDO tournaments and recent winner of the Newry City Open…..the list goes on and on…
We know you are very experienced and have played many International games and won the WDF Europe Cup, but how did you start throwing darts?
I started playing in a small local bar that my mum worked in.
Who have been your role models or inspiration – not necessarily in darts?
My Mum .
What was your first competition win that stands out and who was it against?
Can’t remember first win, but best local win was 2007 Northern Ireland Ladies Open beating Trina Gulliver in the Final.
Recently you made the semi final of the PDC Womens Qualifier. What was that day like, is the standard much above what we see in NI?
The PDC Ladies qualifier was a different experience to usual competitions, plenty of ladies in N.Ireland are capable of winning matches there.
We know it’s hard to get time off work and arranging flights and accommodation can be expensive but will you be making the trip over to the UK for any of the BDO tour this season?
Being self self-employed and in a business that has mostly weekend work,its quite difficult to organise trips away. I hope to play some events in 2020 I haven’t competed in before.
You have retained your Gold Cup trophy again this year, what was the final like against Kayleigh Oneill?
The Gold Cup final against Kayleigh was a tough match with a high standard, which I was delighted to retain.
Will you be entering the ladies counties this year?
I missed first county day but got to the second day, and hope, if possible to make the remaining days.
What darts do you use – flights, stems and barrel.
Winmau ton-machine 25g with short stems and pear flights at the moment.
What is your favourite double?
Favourite double is 16, but l like any that I hit.
What are your aspirations or goals for this incoming season?
I hope to get to more tournaments in 2020.
Apart from yourself, who should we look out for – new or returning players on the local ladies circuit this season?
All the ladies selected to play for Northern Ireland can all play well, getting to the 6 nations final in 2019 proved this.
How many 180’s have you hit consecutively?
Have hit back to back 180’s in a match, but then messed up the 141 checkout.
What changes would you like to see at local, county and international levels for next season?
Small changes, maybe just more competitions streamed.
What is your favourite venue to play in Northern Ireland?
Weigh Inn Bar in Omagh .
How do you get in the zone in a match, in your experience, do you think some people overthink it?
100% concentration will get you in the zone, and help stop you thinking too much about any game/match.
Who has been your favourite pairs partner?
Toughest person to beat in a darts game?
Grace Crane. Darts in Northern Ireland is in a good place, and has gone from strength to strength in the last few years, currently with 5 professional players,and several more who are definitely capable of breaking through. The profile and standard of men’s, ladies and youths darts in Northern Ireland is rising, and should continue to do so.
Thank you Denise for the quick interview and all the best in the New Year. Hopefully see you down at the Weigh Inn some Monday night for a game of arrows – but you’ll have to give us amateurs an 100 headstart!