KENDAL’S Tony Newell has vowed to take stock and return to the oche stronger than ever after a sobering weekend at the PDC Players Championship in Crawley.

The 31-year-old school caretaker lost 6-3 to Terry Jenkins – runner-up to Adrian Lewis at the Coral UK Open earlier this month – before succumbing 6-2 to Ben Ward.

With the Players Championship taking a break over the next few weeks before reconvening in Wigan, Newell plans to use his time wisely to ensure a peak in form.

“It was disappointing but I’ve only been playing at this level for two months and it’s unrealistic to expect I’ll get to the last 32 every time,” he said.

“This was always going to happen at some stage and it’s all part of the learning process – you have to learn how to win and learn how to lose.

“I came back and had a good weekend after the UK Open in Minehead so hopefully I will come back from this and have a good weekend in Wigan.

“With working I don’t really get the time to practice as much as I should for this level but with the school holidays coming up I will have some time off before the next rounds.

“I’m just going to hammer the board for five, six, seven hours a day and tweak my game a little bit. If I manage to put the hours in I should be there or thereabouts.”

While defeats remain hard to take it remains clear his name is resonating on the PDC circuit, with Newell keen to have a further crack at more of the game’s leading lights.

“It was a tight game against Terry Jenkins until he broke my throw in the seventh leg and then did what he’s been doing for the last ten years,” added Newell.

“He said afterwards he knew he’d have to play well to beat me which was nice to hear and goes to show people have been taking note.

“The Ben Ward loss was difficult to take. I think the whole weekend took its toll and I didn’t play as well as I would’ve liked.

“There were a couple of nice finishes – 118 and 99 – and one leg I was on for a nine-darter after seven perfect darts but missed three darts at double two before he checked out.”

Despite making waves in recent weeks, travelling to West Sussex at the weekend before returning to work has led Newell to consider longer-term, more sustainable investment.

“I still need sponsorship, The Albion really help me out and the Keg and Kitchen in Grange held a race night for me – I can’t thank them or the people who went enough,” he said.

“But I could do with a couple more sponsors and perhaps an investor – someone who can come in, pump quite a bit of money in and then take a cut of any winnings.

“If I could devote more time to my darts I think I could do better and in fairness I think I’m doing ok as it is.

“It hit home in Crawley as I just felt empty at times. I’ve been putting so much into it at the same time as trying to earn a living.

“It would be nice to get something in place so I could concentrate more on darts.”