Today we are joined by Lakeside World Youth Champion Joshua Richardson, the son of PDC tour card holder James Richardson. Joshua Richardson attempted Q School for the first time this year, although he failed to win a tour card.
Prior to this year, Richardson threw for four years on the PDC development and challenge tours. He performed well enough to qualify by merit for the PDC World Youth Championship in 2015, where he lost in the Last 32 to young Dutchman Wouter Vaes.
He found more success, however, in BDO youth events, reaching the final of the World Youth Masters before beating Irish teenager Jordan Boyce by 3 sets to 2 to win the Lakeside World Youth Championship.
In addition to those successes, Richardson won three open tournaments, including one where he beat established professionals Mickey Mansell and Daryl Gurney on his route to the final.
Richardson also won the Junior Darts Corporation championship for 2015 in the inaugural year of that competition.
Thanks for joining us Josh, 2015 was a highly successful year for you developmentally, winning the Junior Darts Corporation title and the Lakeside youth title. What was the atmosphere like at the youth events? How was the experience on stage at the Lakeside?
” The atmosphere at the JDC final was pretty good although some of the players and their parents had left, only a few remained but to play that final against a fantastic young player – Dan Perry was really good, I knew it would have been a good game as he beat me earlier that day in the group stages. Then to play on the stage at Lakeside in the BDO World Youth Championship final on my dads birthday and to win it was a very special day for him and all my family and friends. I was feeling nervous but later on in the game when i was 2-1 down in sets, I felt relaxed for some unknown reason. The qualifiers for the world youth final was in the same week as the youth masters qualifiers where I also got to the final in that, that took place on the BDO World Masters Stage in Hull”
Who do you normally practice with? Describe a normal practice session for us.
” I normally practise with my dad, and up until the youth final we had put a lot of practise in, we push each other all the way when we play matches (usually best of 11) but practising for the final we done the same format as I would be doing in that final – best of 5 a leg, best of 5 legs. I have a board at home and get on it as soon as I can, usually straight after college and before I go out to darts leagues just to keep my arm in”
This year, you tried Q School for the first time, just a week after you won the World Youth Championship at the Lakeside. What are your goals for the rest of 2016?
” Q-School didn’t go well for me as I know I didn’t throw my best darts, but was very tough and take that as a learning curve. After 4 days of trying to qualify I felt tired so maybe should have kept my energy up. As I went to Q-School but didn’t qualify it means I can join the Challenge Tour where if you finish in the top 2 you get a tour card, so that will be pretty good if I get there. I will also continue to do the Development Tour and my goal is to win one of the events by the end of this year so a lot of practising is going to be put in this year for all this”
Numerous youth stars, such as Michael van Gerwen and Michael Smith, have kicked on to become top pros, but just as many, if not more, have struggled to develop. What do you think is the biggest impediment facing young players in their development?
” That would definitely be coming to play these young players and not knowing who they are and worrying you’re going to lose. Always have to stay positive before and after games. Losing and staying positive an be difficult sometimes especially when you lose and don’t play well”
Your dad is famous for his love for vindaloo. Are you a fan too? If you were to have a walk-on song dedicated to any food, what food item would it be?
” I am a fan of curry but not the hot ones he likes. In fact I only like one curry & funnily enough it’s “Rogan Josh”. I don’t mind a little bit of spice. But if I was to have a walk-on dedicated to food it would definitely be the Fast Food song – my love for McDonald’s is unreal and this song will definitely get the crowd going when walking onto this song. I believe I did have this song when I used to play County Youth Darts”
What’s your favourite achievement in darts ?
” My favourite achievement in darts would definitely be winning the World Youth Championships 2016. I wouldn’t have won it if it wasn’t for my mum, dad and sister for their fantastic continuous support as well as #TeamStealth. My dad got me into darts if he didn’t then I wouldn’t know what I would be doing now, Also another good achievement is winning the Weigh Inn bar Shootout classic in Northern Ireland. It was a double and double out tournament. Along the way I beat Mickey Mansell, Daryl Gurney and Campbell Jackson 5-0 in the final”
Describe your feelings on hitting the winning double to win the Lakeside youth World title.
” My feelings were mixed, when that Double 16 went in first dart I honestly didn’t know what to do. I compared myself endorse I threw that dart and something in the back of my head knew it was going in straight away. When I hit the 4 100+ scores to leave 32 after 12-darts and saw that he had left himself 113, tears nearly come to my eyes as this means so much to me “
You took part in a recent ‘Legends’ exhibtion last weekend on a big stage infront of a big crowd at the 02 how was that ?
” I was approached by the man organising and running it the night of the Men’s final after they had finished. I couldn’t believe it when he had asked me, I had to say yes as I may not have another opportunity to do something like this again. To be playing at the o2 Indigo inside the o2 arena felt really special especially taking part in the exhibition alongside Bobby George, Wayne Mardle, Tony O’Shea, Ted Hankey, Steve Beaton, Scott Waites, Andy Fordham, Trina Gulliver and Aileen de Graaf. The best part of the night was when I played pairs with Bobby. Throughout the night people were coming up to me for autographs and photos, it just felt amazing but unreal at the same time”
Has your success in the BDO events last year made you more confident going into the PDC events this year so far ?
” Definitely, I won the Under 18 challenge tour and the same week lost in the semi finals of the British Teenage Classic. Losing in the final of the world youth masters and winning the world youth final has gave me a lot of confidence but I now know I need to step up my game a little playing against senior players as well as stepping up my game of the development, the standard on that is unreal”
What’s the best advice you have recieved ?
” Best advice I have been given is to never give up”