‘Aubergenius’ makes name at World Cup: does the Netherlands have a new darts hero?

Last night he beat former world champion Rob Cross, currently number five in the world. But during the World Cup, Van Duijvenbode continues to work remotely, as an administrative assistant at the aubergine nursery Van Onselen in ‘s-Gravenzande.

Due to the strict lockdown in London, Van Duijvenbode is mainly in his hotel room. “He has a second screen and works in his room during the day”, owner Arjan van Onselen told RTL Nieuws. “This is the perfect balance for him. He has also indicated that himself.”

Most striking appearance

Many Dutch people participate in the World Cup darts, which will be played in London until January 3. Dirk van Duijvenbode is perhaps the most striking appearance to date.

His emergence number alone is special: Glimpse of the Future by DJ Typhoon. Accompanied by the hardstyle song, Van Duijvenbode punches his fist through the air while entering the stage.

Earlier this tournament, he even entered the stage with an eggplant, as a reference to his job at the nursery.

“He arranges payments, human resources and food certification,” says van Onselen. On paper he is scheduled for 32 hours a week with the company, but darts will be given priority if necessary, as is now the case at the World Cup in London.

Van Duijvenbode was born in Katwijk aan Zee, grew up in Urk but moved to ‘s Gravenzande in 2009. There he came to work in the nursery, where a special training track has been set up for him. “That way he can also train between work.”

Nickname launched

Van Duijvenbode is now on the rise in the darts circuit. As a debutant at the World Grand Prix Darts, he reached the final at the beginning of October and there he also impressed darts commentator Dan Dawson, who launched his nickname ‘Aubergenius’. Since then there has been a real hype surrounding his person and his nickname.

His friend Jeroen van Veen also saw the popularity of Van Duijvenbode rise. He designed special aubergine darts and they sell off the counter like hot cakes. “We started this about six weeks ago and since then there has been a rush on the arrows”, says Van Veen.

But how far can Dirk van Duijvenbode go? It is already speculated that he could become the new darts hero of the Netherlands alongside Michael van Gerwen. “I would be careful with that”, says darts commentator Jacques Nieuwlaat.

Many darts players have already received that stamp in recent years, says the commentator. “Van Gerwen, there is only one of them. But it is interesting to see what can come in its wake. Dirk seems to be one of the darts players who could do that.”

Stormy development

Nieuwlaat is pleased with the 28-year-old darter. “He has gone through a stormy development in the past year. If he continues like this, he could be among the best sixteen in the world.”

After his victory last night at number five in the world, Van Duijvenbode did not know what to say in front of the camera:

Anyone who sees him on stage wouldn’t say it, but Van Duijvenbode is normally a quiet guy. “He is a stable boy who knows what he wants. But also very accessible”, says Van Veen. “He will always do his best to speak to everyone, including on social media for example.”

Van Onselen knows why Van Duijvenbode has the favor factor: “He is pure. Dirk is just Dirk and there is no media training behind it. That is appreciated by everyone.”


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