I recently sat down in conversation with Dartford FC Women’s Manager, Connor Dymond.
The written article was published in the club’s Matchday Programme for the season’s opening fixure against Cheshunt at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park. For those unable to attend the games, here is the full article:
Dartford FC Women’s manager, Connor Dymond, is a delightful man to talk to and has a fierce passion for the women’s game.
Like many within the Dartford FC community, a young Connor grew up watching his Dad play football every Sunday. There he was together with his two brothers, cheering on his Dad (who, incidentally is a huge inspiration on Connor, together with a few older friends) from the sidelines, come rain or shine. Then, like most young lads, he’d be playing most of the time with his brothers, as the sport took a firm grip on his soul.
Reminiscing those days fondly, he realised that by the age of twelve-thirteen, the dream of making some kind of career within the sport he loves was highly possible if he could just get the opportunity to exploit his talents and earn a living wage from the game.
Like many talented young footballers however, the lure of the Premier league profession didn’t quite work out for Connor. So, he turned his attention towards a slightly different route.
Now an accomplished Bricklayer by trade, Connor plays football for Cray Valley PM, where he slots into a predominantly Defensive Midfield role. In addition to those, he also coaches the Dartford FC Women’s team, which takes up his time on Wednesdays and Sundays.
With all this going on, does he actually have a private life!? Indeed he does, and both him and his partner are expecting their second child, which in itself is wonderful news. That alone could prove to be further good news for the Darts, because football still remains fully attached to Connor’s family DNA. Afterall, his partner is none other than Dartford FC Women’s number one goalkeeper, Jade Charlton!
And, it’s Jade who Connor gives ample credit to during his busy schedule. For, despite expecting their second child he says that, “…she does all the hard work. I just go to work and she gets all the fun on the school runs. Our boy is six, and is so active and demanding. However, I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”
The couple did get some respite during the summer though, as they managed to travel to Greece, which was very nice and a welcome break. However, he’s glad to be back at it and preparing for the season ahead, as he “intends to challenge on all fronts this year and we as a group want to be promoted. We know it’s a tough league, but I believe we can get promotion with this club and win as many games as possible.”
When I asked Connor why he decided to coach/manage the Dartford FC Women’s team, this is what he had to say: “I spoke to Deren Ibrahim about the possibility of bringing the ladies in, and it clicked from the moment we walked into the club. They welcomed us with open arms and that is a big factor when working for someone. We were originally called London Girls, and there’s still a few here that played together from that period. It (Dartford) is a well-run club that had a few home grounds as it didn’t really have a base, it was a family club and I could see that from the minute I walked in. My intention is to manage this club through the leagues, because the club is massive and it really deserves success after all the efforts of the staff behind the scenes.”
Upon ending our conversation, Connor had this to say to the Princes Park faithful: “I’d like to say thank you to everyone for the support. If you could spread the word and bring a mate with you to the next game it would be so beneficial for us as a team. The fixtures will be put up around the stadium, so if you have a free Sunday, come down and give us a cheer!”
Please do show your support on and off the pitch. And remember, if you should pop into your local public house and happen to see Connor. Do say hello, as he’s always up for a chat, a pint, and even a game of pool!
By Chris Palmer