Simon Whitlock has spoken of his disappointment at missing out on a place in the 2019 Unibet Premier League.
The world number nine was the only player from the world’s top 10 to miss out on a spot in the 10-player field, being replaced by James Wade in the only change to last year’s line-up.
Whitlock had posted on Twitter in late November that he was looking forward to playing in the Premier League again this year, despite the line-up not being revealed until after the conclusion of the World Championship.
Whitlock posted on Twitter: “Very disappointed not to be in the 2019 @OfficialPDC PL as I had a good year and remain in top 10 of the world rankings, my averages were high and I performed well in most TV events.
“It is a kick in the teeth BUT it will make me more focused and determined this season.
“I know I am one of the best 10 players in the world and I have great supporters around the globe.
“I owe it to them, my sponsors and myself to step up a gear in 2019… #Wizardiscomingback”
Many felt that the Australian’s omission from this year’s Premier League was in order to hand Raymond van Barneveld a spot, with the five-time world champion set to retire at the end of the 2019-20 season.
Van Barneveld has fallen to number 28 on the PDC Order of Merit, but despite his drop down the rankings and early exit at Alexandra Palace, he was selected as one of Sky’s wildcards for the event.
The Dutchman posted on Twitter: “Very thankfull (sic) with the invitation for the 2019 Premier League!!
“I know some people think I don’t deserve it and I respect that. Maybe one day you are eager for one more chance too after a terrible time.
“I hope you also get that chance then! I will show the true Barney in 2019!”
2019 Unibet Premier League line-up
Michael van Gerwen
Raymond van Barneveld