Hendo’s “Sheer Passion” for Scots
John Henderson believes that “sheer passion” could push Scotland to BetVictor World Cup success.
The Huntly hurler has been called-up into the team for the defending champions at the Salzburgarena from November 6-8 after both Peter Wright and Gary Anderson pulled out of the event.
It means Hendo, 46, teams up with Robert Thornton and he is adamant that they can deliver the goods for their country.
He said: “To be honest, I never ever thought I would get the call-up for Scotland. With Gary and Peter so good and in the top 10 in the world, it was always going to be unlikely.
“But this year I had a feeling I might get the chance. Gary had mentioned a few times about not wanting to travel abroad, so I said to my wife Veronica about that.
“We agreed that I’d go and play for my country if the call came. Naturally I’m over the moon to get that chance.
“I’ve won a fair few tournaments over the years. But nothing has ever compared to pulling on the shirt for Scotland. That’s always been very special to me. It will be no different in the World Cup.
“I have to say, I feel a wee bit happier that it’s with Robert. I thought initially I might be paired with Peter. That is quite a difficult challenge mentally. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been great to play with the World Champion.
“But also comes the difficulty in not wanting to let him down. I see that pressure with whoever plays with Michael van Gerwen for the Netherlands, it’s not an easy thing.
“Robert and I have played Pairs together for Scotland a few times and actually we have a very good record.
“I think what also shines through in the World Cup is the players who really want to do it for their country. Some of the smaller nations have done well because of their sheer passion. That will definitely be the same for Robert and me.”
Both Wright and Anderson have pulled out, preferring not to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. But Type-2 Diabetic Hendo is determined to carry on. He added: “What do you do? My feeling is that you just have to get on with it. My wife Veronica is a frontline worker as a Theatre Co-Ordinator at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, so the coronavirus has been a big worry from day one. But I think we just have to get on with life.
“Lockdown has been a nightmare for me, I seem to have lost the killer instinct on the board.
“I have always thrived on the competition to give me the practice and that competitive edge. So it’s been very difficult in that sense.
“I’ve not been a great fan of the online darts, it’s not the same. But I’m hoping to get some games on that next week just to give me a bit of practice.
“It’s really hard to be motivated to practice when you don’t know when you’re playing again. I think that’s the case with most players. This year we’ve had to adjust to suddenly having two months off and then playing five ProTour events in as many days. That’s been quite difficult for all the players.
“But that’s life now. It’s been a hard year for everyone, we just have to deal with it.”
By Phil Lanning (@lannomedia)
Picture by Taylor Lanning (@taylanningpix)