Connor Dymond: A Profile
Matt Woosnam gives us his thoughts on what we can expect from the tough tackling Connor Dymomd if he makes it into the professional set-up at the club.
A Dymond in the rough. Connor Dymond has been putting in some eye catching performances for Palace U18′s of late, in particular impressing in the centre of midfield in the televised match away at Manchester United.
The 18 year old has played in a number of different positions since moving up to the U18′s, including centre-back and right-back, but it seems he has finally found his best position in a central midfield role. Whilst not having silky skills or being blessed with blistering pace, Dymond has a steely determination to win the ball and indeed win games. Over the past year he has worked hard on his game and significantly improved his distribution of the ball, providing the attacking players with frequent opportunities to demonstrate their ability in the final third, ultimately contributing to the overall team performance.
Michael Hughes used to dart around the pitch making crunching tackles and winning the ball. Dymond has similar attributes, but without the need to cover every inch of grass. He is strong in the tackle and often comes out with the ball, certainly not being afraid to go for a 50-50. Players like Connor Dymond are the spine of the team, without which possession would be lost far more frequently and attacks would not develop.
However, Dymond’s temperament can on occasions be a cause for concern. His penchant for a strong tackle is to be admired, as he is not a dirty player, but his inability to hold his tongue can cause him to get into trouble. Against MK Dons last season he ran down the wing and took the ball past the left-back time and time again, so much so that he commented “ohhhh he’s done ‘im again” which had those watching in stitches. However, he also gets involved in handbags from time to time, making comments to the opposing players, and rather than get up and take a rough tackle or a comment he will retaliate in some way. This is of course part of his personality and his fight, which is essential in football, but he will need to learn when to say certain things and when to hold back. It is not a problem yet, but it could be one.
Connor Dymond is the sort of player that you would not want to be playing against. The sort of personality you would always want on your team, despite not being the most talented footballer, his presence in midfield is crucial to a team, and I’m certain that he’s popular in the dressing room, the sort of character you would want around when things were not going well.
Should he continue his impressive progression, then Dymond may well be knocking down the door to Gary Issott’s office demanding a professional contract at the end of the season when decisions are made as to who will be released from the second year scholars. Whether he will be given a professional contract is up in the air, but he has given himself a fighting chance.