Longford man Jason Ryan has qualified to represent Ireland in darts in the Celtic Cup this September as well as at one of the world’s biggest darts events, the Winmau World Masters in October.
Jason, who lives in Killashee, is delighted to finally make the Irish team after three years of trying. Jason is currently ranked the ninth best player in Ireland with the top 14 making the Irish team. “I was 25th last year and I had to work hard to get down the rankings. I played a lot of tournaments and worked hard on my game to get to this position,” Jason remarked.
“For a while there I was number four but the top 14 players qualify for the team so I’m delighted; I always wanted to wear the green jersey. It’s a great honour.”
Jason has also qualified for the Winmau World Masters in Hull, one of the world’s largest darts’ competitions. This is the second time Jason has made the Masters, having competed in 2009.
“In 2009, I was very nervous, it was nerve-wracking going over to the UK. I know what to expect this year, back then I hadn’t a clue. Nerves mean nothing to me now.”
Jason owes some of his success to his practice partner, Paul Rey with whom he practices for three to fours a day, four days a week. “I also have a League game on a Friday and then there’s normally tournaments on a Sunday. You have to put in these kind of hours if you want to get on the Irish team.”
Jason, who plays with Kearneys in Moydow, is hoping to do well at both these major events in order to attract potential sponsors to allow him to play in the PDCs (Professional Darts Corporation) next year.
“If all goes well I’ll try and get some sponsorship to play in the PDC next year. These competitions are a great way to get your name out there. Most of all, I just want to do the best I can, and hopefully win of course,” Jason laughed.