Jaap Stam was thrilled to meet Luke Littler at Old Trafford on Sunday, saying he was amazed by what the teenager achieved at the World Darts Championship.
Littler is a Red Devils fan and was invited to Old Trafford for the 2-2 draw with Tottenham over the weekend, meeting the likes of Alex Ferguson and Bruno Fernandes.
He also got to chat to the iconic Dutch defender and Stam was delighted to meet the 16-year-old, having followed his superb run to the final at Alexandra Palace.
‘I’m amazed by Luke Littler,’ Stam exclusively told Ladbrokes Fanzone. ‘I saw Luke at Old Trafford on Sunday, we had an interview with him.
‘I know he’s a big Manchester United fan and it was good to see him the other day and have a brief conversation with him.
‘I think it’s amazing, what he’s done. I’d have loved for him to have won the World Championship, of course, but sometimes you need to grow into these things and eventually make that step. But the talent that he has is incredible, and I had to ask him how he manages to control himself and perform at that level, when you see what he’s dealing with in the crowd behind him.
‘He’s throwing these darts and he’s so cool, and so focused, and he’s beating some top, top names, so easily at times as well. It’s amazing. And hopefully he can carry on at this level, but it’s not easy because when you’re young, you’re going up there with very little to lose. But with every win, the more eyes are on you, and that’s a whole new level of pressure you have to deal with, and people are expecting more and more from you.
‘That’s why I find these players so impressive. Not only Luke, but the rest of the top players; when there’s people behind you, on your back, and they’re drinking, shouting things at you, trying to throw you off guard… to still be so focused and produce the level that we see from those top guys, it’s amazing.
‘I know the Premier League comes to Rotterdam in a couple of months from now; I’m not sure whether I can make it but I’ll definitely be watching it on TV.
‘Luke’s going to have a great reception here in Holland; he’s beaten Raymond van Barneveld already… you never know, maybe he’ll be up against Michael van Gerwen on that night! It was great to see him, and hopefully he can keep it up.’
Littler plays his first event since the World Championship this week at the Bahrain Darts Masters which starts on Thursday.
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