Alan Soutar has been tipped for the PDC’s Best Newcomer by five-times world champion Raymond van Barneveld.
Soutar has beaten Dutch star Barney twice in four meetings – including on his run to the last 16 of the UK Open.
And as he prepares for the biggest match of his life against Austrian star Mensur Suljovic on Thursday, Soots has been backed by Barney.
Barney believes Soutar’s meteroic rise in his debut year as a pro merits recognition.
Soutar is currently in the top 64 after starting the tour in 128th place.
He has picked up £47,000 and has already secured his professional status until at least 2023.
“Would he be in contention for Newcomer of the Year?” asked Barneveld. “Yes, absolutely.
“Alan Soutar earned his tour card this year. I beat him the day I won my first Pro Tour in the quarrers. Then he beat me in the UK Open.
“In the final week he beat me in the second round of the Pro Tour and one week later I beat him to qualify for the Grand Slam of Darts.
“It’s 2-2 now but he’s a fantastic player!”
Alan Soutar is ‘clinical finisher’ – Barneveld
Soutar has taken out a host of big names in the last year including World No 2 Peter Wright.
And his outstanding form is no surprise to Barney.
“He’s really clinical on his finishes and is one of the guys we really need to watch out for,” added Barneveld.
𝗦𝗢𝗢𝗧𝗦 𝗪𝗜𝗡𝗦 𝗜𝗧! 🏴
— PDC Darts (@OfficialPDC) December 19, 2021
“I love the game and I never missed a game even when I retired from darts.
“I watched all the players and all the newcomers.
“If you are new you have to keep practicing to get better and better.
“Maybe within two or three years you can lift trophies, you never know?”