Morgan Smith is preparing to tackle the PDC circuit in 2017 after being announced as one of three winners of the Unicorn Next Generation competition.
The Bury St Edmunds thrower became one of the latest recruits of Team Unicorn, which also includes reigning world champion Gary Anderson, five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld and multiple time major winner James Wade, after earning a two-year contract with the darts manufacturer earlier this month.
From more than 70 video applicants, Smith, along with Ireland’s Jordan Boyce and Surrey’s Connor Scutt, were chosen as the three winners of the competition and will now be sponsored by Unicorn to compete on the PDC circuit next year.
“I’ve got a two-year contract and Unicorn can extend that with their leisure,” Smith said.
“My aim is to do my best, I’ve got a long time to improve and to go to a lot of tournaments.
“I want to get into the top 10 in the youth (Unicorn Development Tour) next year and I’m also going to Qualifying School in January to try and get on the Pro Tour.
“Darts is a game which is all about taking it slow and being patient. Getting the sponsorship with Unicorn has given me a lot of confidence. It’s pushed it through the roof.”
The 17-year-old will be among hundreds of players, including former major winner Paul Nicholson, playing in Qualifying School next month, the four-day tournament which has two-year tour cards on the PDC’s main circuit up for grabs.
As well as playing for Suffolk’s county youth side, Smith is also in the final year of his A-Levels at Suffolk One College, in Ipswich, where he is studying maths, further maths and physics.
PDC chairman Barry Hearn said of the three winners: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Morgan, Jordan and Connor and we congratulate them on receiving this sponsorship from Unicorn.
“With the backing of such a valued PDC partner, these three talented young players will get their chance to make a name for themselves now - the world’s their oyster!”