Sunday 22 October 2017

Dawson keen to follow in big bro's footsteps

Portmarnock native Kevin Dawson in action for Shelbourne last season.
Portmarnock native Kevin Dawson in action for Shelbourne last season.


PORTMARNOCK's Kevin Dawson hopes to make his first mark on English football as early as tonight (Tuesday) as his new club Yeovil Town face Leyton Orient in a Football League Trophy clash.

The 22-year-old - a younger brother of Barnsley's Stephen Dawson - completed his move from Shelbourne to the League 1 promotion chasers last week and wants to hit the ground running, as he is only contracted until the end of the season. 'It's brilliant to have signed for an English club - it's what I've always wanted and I just hope that I can take my chance,' he said, speaking to the Fingal Independent. 'I went to one or two other clubs, but I knew it was Yeovil I wanted to go to straightaway. The manager picked me up and brought me to training and all the lads made me feel really welcome. That's the first thing you want when you go to a new club. 'Yeovil are on a good run and had a really good Christmas, winning three out of four, and I'm eligible to play now and should be in contention for Tuesday night. My fitness is fine, but match fitness is another thing and I'll need games to get that back. 'I just want to go as far as I can. I haven't set too many standards for myself because I just need to get into the team first and play some games. 'I don't know about Ireland. I'm focusing on the club at the moment, but everybody has ambitions.' Kevin is the latest in a long line of players from the county who have made a move across the water, including fellow midfielders Shaun Williams and David McAllister who are also plying their trade in League 1 with Milton Keynes Dons and Sheffield United respectively. Even before playing his first competitive game, Yeovil's latest recruit - who joins fellow Irishmen Paddy Madden and Sam Foley at Huish Park - feels certain that he's taking a leap forward in terms of the standard of football. 'It's a step up, without a doubt. You're coming into a full-time setup and you're in England playing against a lot, lot better teams in front of bigger crowds. 'We played Portsmouth away last week and there were 14,000 there. No disrespect to the Airtricity League, but you just wouldn't get crowds like that. 'The League has been absolutely brilliant in giving me a good base, though, and I only have good words for it. Alan Mathews gave me my chance at Shelbourne and I started playing firstteam football and went from strength to strength. 'I loved my time there, but decided now was the right time to move on.' And if Kevin needs any support in those difficult early days at a new club, he has plenty to call on. '[Brother] Stephen has been a massive help. He has played a couple of years in England and is having a good crack at the Championship and having a very good season. 'I look to him for advice and would be on the phone to him nearly every day. 'I'm having lunch with Sam [Foley] at the moment and I knew Paddy [Madden] from before and moved in with him straightaway and we're in an apartment now. It's a massive help when you have guys you know around you.'