Martin Schindler: Meet the German ready to become darts new star

When you think about the juggernauts of darts, the Netherlands, England and maybe even Australia come to mind, but Germany are making steps towards joining them among the world’s elite.

Martin Schindler is one of the players fronting the charge for his nation as they try to compete with the big boys of the darting scene.

Schindler, who is now 21, made his television debut while still in his teens, but in a sensational 18 months he has broken into the top 64 in Order of Merit and has started to challenge the likes of Michael van Gerwen.

He starred alongside teenage prodigy Max Hopp in front of a raucous home crowd at the Eissporthalle in Frankfurt, as the pair competed at the 2018 World Cup of Darts.

With a combined age of just 42, the German duo was the youngest pairing in the competition, but Schindler was happy with their performance.

He said: “The World Cup of Darts is a great tournament and it’s such a pleasure to play with Max (Hopp) because we are great friends outside of darts. We are just happy to play up there on stage, it doesn’t matter how the game was going we tried to relax and play, making a quarter-final again was great.”

German darts is on the up and much of the reason is down to the tremendous support for the sport in the country.

More than 20,000 supporters packed themselves in Schalke 04’s Veltins Arena in late April for the German Darts Masters. A tournament where eight of their most promising homegrown talents had the chance to take on the PDC big hitters.

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Schindler paid tribute to the rowdy German support but added it’s not without its downsides. He said: “You are always under pressure because you want to show them what you’ve got and you’re up there for a reason.

“That could be considered a problem with the German fans, there mean good with their encouragement, but it can make it difficult for the players. There’s usually booing for the opponent, but that makes it difficult for us as well.”

This was highlighted when Schindler competed in the match of the tournament against Michael van Gerwen. Despite hitting five maximums and averaging 111 over five legs, a ruthless 148 checkout and seven perfect darts put the Netherlands in the driving seat as MVG strolled to a 4-1 victory.

Reflecting on his sublime encounter with ‘The Green Machine’, Schindler said: “The game against Michael van Gerwen was unbelievable and it was difficult to enjoy at times, for me the most important thing was to win that game.”

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“We are talking about MVG, the best player in the world, he’s been dominant for five or six years in the PDC and darts as a whole. I played an unbelievable game but against a player of that quality it isn’t always enough.”

Having recently gone a full day unbeaten, winning 14 matches in a row on the PDC Development Tour, the future is looking bright for the man known as ‘The Wall’.

Along with the likes of Max Hopp and recent Pro Tour finalist Gabriel Clemens, Germany could soon be producing some of darts next superstars.

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