NINE new names will replace the injured Gary Anderson in the opening nine nights of the 2019 Unibet Premier League.
Amongst the nine, will be Team Unicorn youngsters Chris Dobey, Jeffrey de Zwaan and World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who will all now play a part in a new look Premier League for 2019.
Chris Dobey will be the hometown hero in Newcastle on the opening night where he will take on Mensur Suljovic.
World Youth Champion Dimitri Van den Bergh, who landed a nine-dart finish at the Grand Slam of Darts, will compete in Rotterdam’s opening night against Team Unicorn stablemate James Wade.
A new Dutch star will be born as World Matchplay semi-finalist Jeffrey de Zwaan plays in front of the sea of orange on the second of two nights in Rotterdam against Rob Cross.
“First of all everyone at the PDC would like to wish Gary Anderson a speedy recovery back to full fitness as soon as possible,” said PDC Chairman Barry Hearn.
“Gary’s withdrawal has opened up an incredibly exciting opportunity for the nine contenders to go out and show what they’ve got on some of the biggest stages in world darts.
“The young players who impressed at Alexandra Palace have already shown they can cut it in darts’ biggest ever tournament, while rising stars Max Hopp and Dimitri Van den Bergh have been shining lights in the growth of the sport in recent years.
“The local favourites have earned their chance to entertain the crowds and TV viewers, with every one of them will bringing something different to the Premier League party in 2019, and I’m sure they’ll cause a few shocks along the way.
“The PDC has always been about giving opportunities to players and we felt this was the perfect chance to do something revolutionary, as we now look forward to an exciting year of Premier League Darts ahead in 2019."
Points won by the nine contenders will not count towards the league table, however their opponents will retain any points gained from the matches.
Contenders will receive financial bonuses for winning or drawing their matches.
Following the opening nine nights of fixtures, the player placed ninth on the Premier League table following Judgement Night in Rotterdam will be eliminated from the competition, with the remaining eight players battling it out from nights ten to 16 in the race for the Play-Offs at The O2.