Kevin Dawson set heart on Yeovil Town move after reuniting with Paddy Madden
Signing for Yeovil Town ended a six-week wait for Kevin Dawson to join the club he knew he wanted to represent the moment the manager and his best mate picked him up for training.
The former Shelbourne midfielder last week put pen to paper on a deal that will keep him at Huish Park until the end of the season, becoming Gary Johnson’s first arrival of the transfer window.
Dawson, whose older brother Stephen plays for Barnsley, had been training with the Glovers after a call out of the blue proved the first step in realising his dream of becoming a Football League player.
He said: “It has been a really long wait and I have been dying to get stuck in. I had been waiting for the day for six weeks so I am looking forward to getting started officially. There is just so much to be done and I am glad it’s sorted.
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“Paddy Madden just gave me a phone call and said the gaffer (Johnson) would like me over as soon as possible. I literally booked a flight for the next morning and I have been here since.
“It has always been a massive ambition to move over and I am glad it’s finally happening now. I was part time in Ireland but was full time at a point with Sporting Fingal. They went bust and I moved on to Shells.
“I had two really good years there but I wanted to get back to full time football. It’s always what I wanted to do, I love it here with full time football and that’s the way forward.
“I knew that from the day I came here I wanted to sign. It was about getting down here and hoping that the gaffer would take a chance on me.
“I am looking forward to repaying him and doing my best for Yeovil. There were a few other clubs interested and I could have gone there and done the same, but the minute I got here I knew this was the place I wanted to be.
“Paddy and the gaffer picking me up on the first day made me feel welcome and made me realise this was where I wanted to be.”
Having grown up in Dublin with Madden, Dawson said the striker’s presence in the dressing room has helped him settle, even if the pair’s home cooking left a lot to be desired.
“I know Paddy through football and literally lived five minutes away from him in Dublin,” said 22-year-old Dawson, who classes himself as a box-to-box midfielder.
“I have played against him all through my career for 15 or 16 years so it was nice to see familiar face, which helps especially when you are moving away from home.
“We have moved in together and we even had a nice Christmas together. We had chicken and pasta for Christmas dinner and that’s what happens when two lads who don’t know how to cook live together.”
Madden is available for Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United in npower League One after being cup tied for the midweek visit to Leyton Orient in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area semi-final.
The sharp shooter has scored ten goals this season, nine of which coming during a loan spell at Huish Park that became permanent on New Year’s Day.
Johnson backed the pair to be a success with their new club, comparing Dawson to fellow Irishman and tough tackler Roy Keane.
The boss said: “Kevin certainly deserves a first appearance. At first we weren’t sure and jokingly said when we signed him it was because he was Paddy’s mate but he’s a good player.
“Over the last couple of weeks since we’ve signed him he’s just relaxed and he’s got a great work ethic and a great competitiveness.
“He is a bit like Roy Keane where he’s just on the verge of getting yellow cards all the time and you cringe every time he makes a tackle. But he’s a good enough athlete for him to make those tackles and for it not be a foul.”
Johnson added he had few concerns about Dawson’s ability to step back up to the full-time game, having fought off a host of clubs in his homeland to seal the midfielder’s signature.
“He’s going to be a great asset to us and I’m really pleased we made that decision to bring him in,” said Johnson. “There was a lot of people interested in him anyway and all the full-time clubs in Ireland were in for him. He’s a natural athlete and he made himself full-time even though the club was part-time
“He’s got such an impressive work ethic that he was training nearly every day anyway and he just needed that match sharpness which we think he’s got already.
“When we do unleash him - and it may be this week or it may be next - everyone will realise that we’ve got a bit of a player.”