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When the manager of a League One club meets you at the airport before you have even started your trial period at the club, you know you are a player in demand. Such was the scenario that met Kevin Dawson when flew into London back in November.
The former Shelbourne midfielder was greeted by Gary Johnson and pretty quickly realised Yeovil Town was the club for him.
By his own admission, Yeovil’s interest in Dawson came as shock to the central midfielder. It wasn’t until he received a call from his close friend and one time Shelbourne star Paddy Madden that Dawson became aware that a trip to the South of England could be on the cards.
In an exclusive interview with Extratime.ie, Dawson revealed how the transfer to League One came about.
“The move really came about out of the blue. I just got a call off my good friend Paddy Madden and he said ‘basically the gaffer would like to get you over’ and that he had heard about me and wanted me to go over as soon as possible.
“I think I booked the flight the next morning and went out there for a couple of weeks and then agreed to sign after that”, the former Sporting Fingal player said.
“I was on trial for the first couple of weeks and then I played a couple of games and we agreed a deal.”
That was back in November and after clearly impressing his new suitors, Dawson was promptly offered a one year contract which went through when the transfer window opened on the first day of 2013.
While the FAI Cup winner is understandably happy with how things have played out, he is keen not to embark on any laurel resting.
“I’m absolutely delighted. I had always wanted to go over to England and test myself over here and delighted to get the chance the gaffer has given me. Hopefully now I can take it with two hands.
“The plan is to work my way into the first team. Obviously Yeovil have had a very good Christmas period. They’ve won three out of four and they’re doing well in the league and have qualified for the semi-final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy so the first thing is to try get into the first team as quick as possible.”
“The gaffer isn’t afraid to show any desire and he’s set his sights on the promotion play-offs. We want to finish as high as possible but obviously the play-off is something we have to aim for”, he revealed.
The Dubliner also reflected on his two seasons at Tolka Park – a period he says he thoroughly enjoyed despite the many highs and lows the club experienced over the last two years.
“I absolutely loved my time here. I really loved the club and all the fans that went with it and I was always made feel very welcome there. Personally I’ve had two good years there. Obviously it was a disappointing finish to the season last year in eighth but I think if we had won on the last day of the season we would finished sixth and got Setanta Cup so it’s small margins at the end that can decide things.
“There was lots of heartbreak but the main thing in 2011 was to get the club promoted. We had a good run in the Cup as well that year of course and it was really just a toss of the coin in the end with the penalty
shootout. Unfortunately it went to Sligo instead of us but that’s football you know, you have to get on with it."
It’s clear the newest ‘Glover’ goes forward with fond memories from his team in Airtricity League football. Dawson maintains football here is improving all the time and isn’t as far behind it’s British counterpart as some people believe.
“It’s a step up from League of Ireland. It’s fulltime and it’s a proper set up. It’s good standard but it’s not as big a step up as people think. I don’t think people give the League of Ireland enough credit in my opinion. It’s a step up but I’m looking forward to it.”
Sam joined Extratime for the 2011 season and is now the site's features editor. He is based in Dublin and covers all the clubs in the capital. He is also prone to the odd Drogheda game. If you would like to contact Sam, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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