Q&A: Getting to know Simon Dawkins
This week, SJEarthquakes.com sat down with British newcomer Simon Dawkins to discuss his transition from English soccer to MLS and a few non-soccer items. Get to know the Quakes latest signing:
SJEQ: So, how are you assimilating to life here in the Bay Area?
SD: Pretty well. The weather’s getting better now. Everyone, especially my teammates, has treated me great, and we got a win over the weekend, so things are going well.
SJEQ: Speaking about the weather, one would think this would be considered nicer for you coming over from England, yet you’re the only one at training wearing long pants!
SD: (chuckles) I always wear pants to training. It’s something I’ve always done, maybe because of the weather in England, I’m used to it. It’s just the way I do it.
SJEQ: So we won’t be able to get you out in shorts this season?
SD: (laughs) Yeah, maybe one day, when the weather gets a bit hotter. We’ll have to wait and see.
SJEQ: What has surprised you the most so far here in the MLS?
SD: Mostly how good of a league it is. The level is really up there, and I think it’s going to get better, as well. I’m just enjoying playing here. As I said before, the weather’s been getting better and that makes it easier to play, and allows for a happier lifestyle, as well.
SJEQ: So the standard of play is a bit higher than you expected?
SD: Yeah, it is. I always thought that the MLS was a top league, anyway. It’s not quite as good as Europe, but I’m a bit surprised by the quality. There are some very good players in this league who could probably play in the Premiership.
SJEQ: What were the main reasons for you deciding to come over to the MLS rather than staying in England?
SD: Well, this all came about because of the strategic partnership between the two clubs, with the Quakes being over in England for their pre-season. I was looking for a team to go on loan to because I needed games. San Jose and Frank Yallop asked me what I’d think of the possibility, so I decided to give it a try. So here I am, and hopefully I can get in a lot of games and help the team win.
SJEQ: You got your first game action two weeks ago in the opener. What did you think of the fans, the atmosphere, the stadium...?
SD: The fans were great. It was one of the smaller stadiums I’ve played in, but the fans made a whole lot of noise and really helped us to try to win the game. And I think that will only get better as the season wears on.
SJEQ: It being your first professional game over here, did you feel any pre-game jitters?
SD: No, no, no. I mean, this is my job. If anything, a bit of anxiety, as I just wanted to get out there and play. But I didn’t feel any nerves or anything like that. That’s not for me.
SJEQ: What are your goals for the 2011 season, both personally and for the team?
SD: Personally, to get in as many games as possible and score as many goals as possible. If I can do that, together with Wondo and the rest of the forwards, we’ll have a good chance of getting to the championship.
SJEQ: Moving away from strictly soccer aspects, what other sports do you follow?
SD: I don’t really follow other sports, just football (soccer). I grew up in football, so this is the only thing I like.
SJEQ: And if you hadn’t been brought up in soccer, what do you think you’d be doing right now?
SD: Probably playing pool, because I’m a good player. But they said I was too small to join the club. You had to be able to reach over the table and I couldn’t do that. I was a tiny little kid, so I went into football.
SJEQ: How do you find the food over here in the States compared to back in England? Are you missing the bangers and mash yet?
SD: (laughs) No, I actually never ate that dish much back in England. What really gets me over here are the portion sizes. They serve you a lot more food here, so I always end up taking food with me after I eat at a restaurant. I try not to eat the whole plate and just have smaller portions to stay fit.
SJEQ: When you’re not on the soccer field, what do you like to spend your free time doing?
SD: I’m a pretty chill guy. Football is a hard job on your body, and puts a lot of stress on you, so I try to relax as much as possible.
SJEQ: Alright, well when you’re sitting on your couch do you prefer Playstation or Xbox?
SD: You know, I don’t really play video games. I’m not really into them, plus I think I’m getting a bit older now. I mean, I’m 23! (smiles) Video games take up too much time, so when I have time I just like to chill out, watch TV, hang out with friends, and go for a meal and things like that.
SJEQ: Lastly, is there a nickname you had back in England that we should know about over here in the Bay Area?
SD: You know, I don’t have a nickname. There’s not a whole lot to go on with my name. The guys have always just called me “SD” or “Sy”, especially playing in a foreign league.
SJEQ: Perhaps the Earthquakes fans could work on that idea for you.
SD: Yes, absolutely. Please do.
SJEQ: Alright, we’ll pass it along. Thanks for your time and good luck this weekend.