In 2019, Jack Male truly burst onto the scene by winning the prestigious British Teenage Open, joining the likes of Adrian Lewis, Stephen Bunting and Dimitri van den Bergh in etching his name into a piece of darting history. With his name now truly amongst the greats in darts, the world is at his mercy - what’s next for the ‘Maestro’, Jack Male?
Jack began playing darts back when he was 9 years old. For the next 6 years, he honed in on his talent, developing his throw and ability from the comfort of his home, before realising that he “was not that bad of a player”. After his family suggested looking for tournaments locally, he stumbled across the North East darts scene - the perfect opportunity for Jack to pick up where he left off at home. With competitive action beginning shortly after his 16th birthday, Jack was able further push himself towards becoming the player he is today, and the player he aspires to be in the future.
18 months after his debut tournament, Jack then went on to claim his biggest title in darts to date - the aforementioned 2019 British Teenage Open. He dropped just 4 legs on his way to the final, defeating Lewis Bennett, George Webb, George David Lynch, Joe Reid and Connor Pickett on his way to setting up a tantalizing final against the in-form Nathan Potter, who had defeated both the former JDC World Youth runner up Lennon Craddock, and the former BDO World Youth champion Leighton Bennett on his way to setting up a clash with the ‘Maestro’. A game that hung in the balance for the first six legs, it was Jack who eventually prevailed, winning the last leg decider with a classy 70 finish, finding the D20 with his last dart to claim the biggest victory of his career! For Jack, he feels “it’s an honour to have my name amongst [Adrian Lewis, Stephen Bunting and Dimitri van den Bergh] on the roll of honour. It’s something that can never be taken away from me”.
While it was his biggest achievement, Jack’s British Teenage Singles triumph isn’t, he says, the most defining moment in his career. There was one weekend on the development tour which, for him, defined him more than anything he’d done up to this point. It was the final development tour weekend of the year, and he’d found himself £200 below the cutoff to make it to the PDC World Youth Championships on the Monday after the Development Tour weekend. He told me that he’d “only made £200 across three whole weekends - so I went there not expecting much”. “I played out of my skin across the weekend”, Jack says, “I beat Ted Evetts, Harry Ward, Jarred Cole to name a few, which were massive scalps for me - and made a quarter final”. Thanks to the impressive form he showed over the weekend, “after a nervous wait”, he found out he’d made the cutoff and was in the PDC World Youth Championships! While the Monday didn’t go as he planned, he “exceeded what I thought I was even capable of, and beating some of those players made me believe that on my day I can compete with anyone”.
I further spoke to Jack about what he feels the future has in store for him, and what, with the help of his sponsor Loxley darts, he aims to achieve in the coming years as he continues his transition into the senior game. For Jack, he’d “like to look at picking up a title on the Development Tour”, which he feels is an achievable short term goal for him. After a strong end to the Development Tour this year, as well as a quarter final placing back in 2018, Jack has shown that he’s got the game to compete at the top of the Development Tour, and that thanks to his time on the England Youth Tour, in which he accumulated three Grand Prix titles, he’s shown he has the determination and ability to pick up titles wherever he plays. Further to this, in the long run he wishes to “win a world title”, but acknowledges there is “a long road ahead to get there”. The “end-game”, as he rightly says, is to be “a world champion”.
Thank you to Jack for taking the time to answer my questions and providing the information for the profile, as well as thank you to Loxley for the opportunity to write for them! Got a lot planned - reviews, player profiles and more! This is the first of many player profiles to be published, more will be published in the upcoming weeks/months.
Author - Joe Reid