A very special Manager Of The Week this week. Seeing as it was Lee Goodwin's testimonial on Monday, I got in touch with Thomas Thorn who won the auction to be the Manager for the night and sit in the dugout. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for me. So Thomas for the one and only time its over to you as a special Manager Of The Week. Enjoy your second moment of glory this week.
How long have you been a daggers fan?
I didn’t actually believe my mum when she told me she had paid for it. The first time I showed her the auction she said that she couldn’t afford it. But on the night the auction finished she had told me I won but I thought it was a wind up but she actually showed me that she had won the auction and that was it I was in shock and I just rung everyone I knew. Then my mum said that I had to ring Lee Goodwin to verify everything and then the reality kicked in.
How did you feel on the day?
I had to go into my sixth form and treat it like a normal day to begin with, but throughout the day I was very excited and every single conversation I had always ended up with me talking about being at Dagenham and helping to manage them. I was counting down the hours and to me they were just going slower and slower. But yeah I was excited and a little bit nervous.
What happened when you went over to the club?
Lee Goodwin told him to meet him at the club house at 6. He then showed my friends into the VIP bar to have food before the game and took me around the ground. We walked into the ground onto the pitch and just as I was going into the tunnel Lee introduced me to the legend that is Robbo. We then went into the dressing room and Lee said to just get my boots on and walk round until all the other players get there. When walking around I met the legends such as Mark Janney and Tarkan Mustapha. I then saw the West Ham players enter with Avran Grant. Then just before the players were going out to warm up I met John Still and Terry Harris (he was taking the team for the night). Then the players went out for the warm up and I got to have a kick about with the some of the substitutes that were Danny Green and Damien McCrory.
What did the players say to you?
The players were just very welcoming and professional. They just introduced themselves to me, I told Robbo that I preferred playing in goal and typing Robbo asked me what I was doing Saturday. Most of the players were very professional so they were just going about their business but they did stop and ask if I was okay.
How did it feel leading the daggers out?
Because it was Lee Goodwin’s night he got to lead the Daggers out on to the pitch and I followed out after the players with the staff. I was quite weird walking out of the tunnel and seeing all the fans it was a true experience that was really good and it was just a little overwhelming and I just couldn’t believe it.
Did you give a team talk and if so what did you say?
The Daggers were taking this as a serious game so Terry Harris took the team talk. I was sitting in the home dressing room with the players and got to see how they prepared for the game. Terry was going through the line-up and what the players had to do when defending and attacking corners and free kicks. Although I didn’t really get to say much before the game it was a good experience for me since coaching is what I hope to do at university.
What was it like sitting in the dugout?
It was quite surreal sitting in the dugout with the players. It was good to see that the players on the bench were trying to also help Lee and the players on the pitch and were just like the normal fan complaining and challenging the official’s decisions in the game.
What did you say at half-time?
Terry Harris spoke to the lads at half time and then the talk got passed to Lee. Just as Lee was finishing his talk he asked me to stand up as also give a team talk. At this point I was nervous but I just followed up what Terry and Lee was saying and talk then to be more quicker on the ball and try not to give the ball away as much since West Ham was keeping it very well. The players listened to what I said and respected my team talk.
Who impressed you the most?
To be honest I was impressed by the team in terms of their professionalism especially since it was a testimonial game and sometimes players don’t take it seriously. Also what impressed me was how welcoming they all were and just introduced themselves to me and just how much they were like a normal person with the only different being they were much better on the football pitch.
What happened after the game?
After the game I hung around the dressing room while the players were getting ready and was waiting for Lee to take me over to the VIP bar. When waiting I met former Dagger Paul Benson and exchanged words with him. I then met my friends again in the VIP bar where the players then entered. After a drink or two the players left and I headed home happy but ready for my bed.
Well done and thanks Thomas it sounds like it was a great experience. Dont forget if you want too take part let me know. You can get me on facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.