Rising Star: Kieran Dover
Dandenong Thunder has not had a smooth season in 2014. After a promising start, the side slipped down the table with each passing week and only a win against Ballarat in Round 22 arrested that slump.
One big positive however has been the Thunder’s young squad, in particular our Winning Edge Presentations Rising Star of the Month (Rounds 17-21) Kieran Dover.
The diminutive winger has not only been impressing supporters at George Andrews Reserve, but also the staff at Melbourne Victory.
This month he was handed the Rising Star award following some impressive performances, and he spoke to FFV’s Tomasz Ng about how he’s travelling along.
TN: How does it feel to be named the Rising Star of the Month, and how do you feel the season has gone so far?
KD: It feels pretty good to get it. The season’s been pretty good, our team has been playing pretty well but we haven’t been getting the results that we needed. We’ve turned it around, and I think the team’s confirmed that week in week out.
TN: It has been a rather difficult season for results, but was that down to losing players like Marcus Schroen so early on?
KD: That and losing Jake Nakic in the middle of the season, key players that we needed to win.
I think we’ve coped well without them, it’s pretty hard to replace them quickly. Then we brought Carl Lamb in from England and he had to go back because he had a few visa problems so we’ve ended up with no strikers again. But other than that it’s been alright.
TN: The Thunder squad is pretty young, how much of a benefit it that for you, and how much influence does Dean Hennessey have on you and the squad?
KD: It helps a lot really with playing, we have a really young side. Like on the weekend, the whole attacking team was basically under 18. It has helped a lot. Hennessey has been good to me as well.
Dean’s cool, he’s pretty good, listens to everything. He does not actually put me under that much pressure, which is what I want. Then he wants results, which is good, and he listens to the young boys as well.
TN: What is it like to juggle playing football at this level, while having to focus on studies?
KD: With school I have to leave early sometimes for training at times. It’s not that hard to balance it really but sometimes it gets a bit full on. It’s been hard on my Victory trials, that’s probably been my most difficult one.
TN: And how are the trials going, especially getting to work with a highly regarded youth coach in Darren Davies?
KD: They’re going alright so far I guess, they’re going well. It was a quality experience to play with some of the players and staff like Besart Berisha. Even being around them is a good experience.
Darren Davies is a quality coach too, I rate him really highly.
The Winning Edge Presentations NPL Rising Star of the Month is voted for by the match reporters, in the 3-2-1 format.
Image Credit: Jason Heidrich