Van Veen on the March
Gian van Veen was already known to many within the Professional Darts Corporation, having qualified for the Players Championship Finals in 2022 without even having a Tour Card.
This changed at the start of January when the young Dutchman came out of European Qualifying School with a golden ticket, having finished in the Top 14 on the Order of Merit after four Final Stage competitions.
Since then the 21-year-old has only looked up, reaching the Quarter Finals in Players Championship 6 where he beat the likes of Maik Kuivenhoven and former World Champion Rob Cross in his opening 2 matches.
Van Veen’s best performance came against former Premier League and Matchplay winner James Wade, where the Red Dragon player averaged 102.31 in beating his English opponent 6-4 at the Barnsley Metrodome.
GVV has also made a name for himself on the European Tour, most recently reaching the Quarter Finals of the European Darts Matchplay at the Trier Arena in Germany. The Poederoijen born player lost out to James Wade in the Quarters but produced arguably the performance of the tournament in whitewashing former World Cup of Darts winner Damon Heta.
The 21-year-old was flawless on the outer ring, as he recorded a 6-0 win over the Heat with a stunning average of 114.15. Heta averaged 103.96 himself in Germany but was only afforded 2 opportunities on a double because of how well his opponent was playing.
The confidence will have been there for Van Veen going into the 2nd Round clash with Damon Heta, after he beat compatriot and former World Champion Christian Kist 6-3 in the First Round, again producing a ton plus average of 103.92 with 5 maximums.
His run continued Sunday when he beat Germany’s World Cup of Darts captain Martin Schindler 6-2, with a checkout rate of 46.15% including 4 180s.
Van Veen was threatening a spot at the Betfred World Matchplay with the amount of ranking money he had picked up, but saw his hopes come to an end this time around against James Wade.
The evidence is there though that the Dutch future talent will only have to wait a matter of time before he makes the trip to Blackpool, whilst there is a strong possibility that he makes his debut at the Alexandra Palace come the end of the year.
Gian will return to Professional Darts Corporation action on the 10th for Players Championship’s 15 and 16 at the Morningside Arena in Leicester.
By Harry Masterson