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10 SECONDS with Dan Shaw

By Justin Siewierski; Editor-in-Chief
On October 17, 2017

10 SECONDS with Dan Shaw

Justin Siewierski


Whether this team is winning or losing, there is always one player on the field that keeps the same energy from start to finish. Whether he’s winning balls in the air, making small talk with the referee, or screaming “let’s go boys” in one of the deepest British accents in Plymouth, Dan Shaw surely has made a name for himself on campus 

Shaw is in his second year as captain for the Plymouth State men’s soccer team, and he’s only a junior. Hailing from Winchester, England, the 6’3” center back represents one of seven different nations who call Arold Field home this season. As Shaw’s name is always a topic of conversation btoh in the classroom and on the pitch, he took some time out of his busy schedule to tell us about his experience at Plymouth State thus far.

At what age did you begin playing soccer?

I started kicking a ball as soon as I could walk, but I joined a club at the age of 4.

What was your motive for choosing Plymouth State? How were you recruited?

Not only is it in a beautiful part of the world, I like the idea of being able to go skiing in the winter (which we don't get in England) and go floating the Pemi in 90 degree weather in the summer (which we don't get in England, either). It also doesn’t hurt being a couple hours drive from Boston and a few from Montreal. As far as recruitment is concerned, coach [Rob Wright] ga ve me an email after seeing my footage and getting it through an agency in England.

What's your pre-game ritual?

Pre game ritual you start in the changing room, I touch the Panther as well as the green shield, which we want to achieve every game. I never wear my boots out to the field; I wear any other shoes and get changed on the bench. I then put my boots on andifweareathomeIjogoverto Mason [Cliché]’s bench, touch the bottom of my boot which has Mason’s initials and number [MAC22] written on the bottom and then touch his name on the bench. Then in the mine, I always tie both boots up again.

Why did you choose Biology as your undergraduate study?

I want to become a dermatologist  and go to medical school, and biology was the stepping-stone to be able to do this.

What's the biggest difference between Winchester and New Hampshire?

The weather is a big difference. You can have two feet of snow here one day and then 30 degrees the next week (which we had last spring). Another difference is how busy Winchester/ Southampton is always busy; there's a lot of traffic and just a more stressful environment. I feel like everyone is rushing around. In New Hampshire, and especially Plymouth, it's so relaxed and quiet.

If you could play for any professional club, where would you sign?

Afc Wimbledon 100%. I've had a season ticket a number of years and would love to play for my team. If I had to choose a premier league club I would say Southampton, as they are my local team and again I've grown up supporting them. But, if we were saying around the world I would say Barcelona. Just because it's Barcelona.

You're a second year capt ain here at PSU. Being only a junior, how do you see this team molding alongside yourself and your co-capt ains?

I saw my first year as a year where I learned a lot from Felix [Lindeberg] who was for sure the perfect captain. Then this year Joni [Hongisto], Nick [Rutherford] and I have very similar views on things, so it is easy to make decisions. We have a good set up going with good cop, bad cop so the players know where they stand. We have a good chemistry with the players in the team. They know if they ever have a problem or an opinion on something I'm always here for them, both on the field as well as off the field.

This year's current record doesn't reflect how well the team has played this year. After a huge win Saturday against Keene, how do you see the LEC playoff hunt shaping up?

Yes, with an extremely tough schedule where we play ranked teams as well as teams that regularly finish with a plus .500 record, we are sitting 3-8 overall, but could very easily be 6-5 if we had a different rub of the green and didn't pick some injuries up. The Keene game was a big win for us, as it takes us to 2-2 in the conference. But like coach says, we don't get too high when we win and too low when we lose. We have Southern Maine on Saturday and if we win that game we will be in a strong spot with two home conference games against Western Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Do you plan on staying here, or moving back home?

We will see, you never know what could happen. See where medical school takes me, as well as my travels to see if I stay in the States or move back home.

Someone from your home-town wants to play college soccer in the states. What can you tell them about the opportunities they'd have if they came to Plymouth State?

I would say it was the best decision I have ever made, and it's been the best experience of my life. People from back home always say "I'm living the life" when I come back from class and go skiing for five bucks, or when they see that I'm going scuba diving for class. Just my general life over here, with the social scene that Plymouth holds it makes it very easy to have some funny stories and make some quality mates. Plymouth offers everything a university should offer and more. They look after you on the field, in the classroom and off the field as well as getting you ready to graduate. While having the time of your life at university, it also allows you to make life-long contacts you keep from around the world. On the field the opportunities are fantastic, while you are in season you are training pretty much every day and playing a match every few. The intensity is terrific. You are looked after like a professional with the athletic training staff, the rehab in the pool and the footage that we go through in order to improve our game and beat our opposition.

Dan and his team are back in action this Saturday, as a big conference matchup sees them in Southern Maine for a 2:30 p.m. start. 

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