INTERVIEW | No Pressure

INTERVIEW | No Pressure

Dylan Vassallo says he is focused on the start of the new season after putting pen-to-paper on a permanent deal with Southport.

The 22-year-old joined the Port prior to last weekend’s game against Barrow after impressing Liam Watson whilst on trial with the club throughout pre-season.

After signing the contract, the young midfielder was pleased and says his attention is now on the forthcoming campaign.

“I was made up. It is still a while until the season starts so it is nice to have time to get settled in. I can get ready for the first game and relax within myself instead of being worried about my future.”

“I’m enjoying it so far, it’s a good group of lads so I’ve got no complaints.”

Vassallo is focused on the start of the new season.

Vassallo pinpoints his team-mates as one of the reasons why he has settled into the club so well and how they made him feel comfortable whilst on his trial.

“I didn’t feel any pressure, I’ve played football since I was a young boy so it doesn’t affect me. I was a bit nervous but the lads have probably eased things without me realising as they’ve been really sound which has helped.”

As well as the support within the dressing room the midfielder says his friends and family are also pleased for him.

“Everyone is made up for me because they know it’s what I wanted and that I’ve worked hard this summer so it has paid off. You want to play as high a level as you can so I just want to keep improving and playing well.”


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The attacking midfielder admits coming into pre-season following lockdown was hard at times but believes he was physically ready.

“The first couple of weeks were tough but I had looked after myself quite well so I came back quite fit and in good condition. I impressed Liam, which is why they’ve offered me the deal.”

Vassallo is pleased with how Southport have performed so far in pre-season with the team winning five of their eight games, scoring 25 goals.

“When you’re getting the goals it’s always good and they are habits that we will take into the season, which I have a good feeling about. We just need to try and keep more clean sheets and avoid sloppy goals, to give us more chance of winning.”

Southport’s last pre-season game saw them take on Warrington Town, whom Vassallo knows well having previously spent time with the Wire.

“It was a good result; I was there to get the win. It was nice to see some familiar faces and have a catch up with some good lads are there.”

The 22-year-old says he learnt just as much off the field as on it whilst with the Cheshire club.

“Football wise it was quite stop-start because I had a few injuries but I feel like I’ve developed more as a person than a player in the three years I spent there. I arrived as a boy and went out a man. I was quiet at first but grew into my own, I can now speak up for myself without feeling intimidated by the older players.”

Prior to his time with Warrington the attacking midfielder had spent time in the Port’s youth set up.

“I was playing in the North West Counties but wanted to play as much football as possible so started playing for Southport on Sunday’s because I knew a few lads there. Whilst there was no link with the first team they were associated in some way.”

Vassallo, seventh from right, with his Southport Youth team mates in the 2015/16 season.

Now with the first team, Vassallo believes he can bring something new to the current Sandgrounders side.

“I will bring energy. I like playing centre midfield because I feel like I can drive forward and break lines. I can chip in with goals too and cause problems for the opposition.”

The youngster is also excited by what knowledge and tips he can pick up whilst with the club.

“You want to learn from people who are at a good level no matter where they play like Dean (Winnard), Sammo (Jack Sampson) and Tony Mac (McMillan). They will want to help your career so you’ve got to absorb as much information as possible.

“I’ve enjoyed myself under Liam (Watson) so far and hope it continues that way he can help me develop to the highest level. I like the way he speaks to the lads he’s straight forward and you know where you stand there is no sugar coating. He’s made the signings this summer knowing what formation he wants to play and who is well accommodated to it.”

Southport’s first taste of competitive action since March will come on the 3rd October when the new season begins with an Emirates FA Cup tie.

When the Vanarama National League North fixtures are released Vassallo will not be looking at any individual date and is just focused on contributing as much as possible.

“I want to play as many games as I can, I don’t care who I’m playing because at the end of the day you play everyone twice. Hopefully we can start the season as we mean to go on it is always nice to go as far as you can in the cup because it’s good for the club and the lads.”

The 22-year-old is hoping that fans will be allowed to return to The Pure Stadium for the start of the new campaign to see how the side is developing.

“We are getting all these results but they can’t see how we are looking. It’ll be good for them to see us in action and find out what we are bringing to the table. They don’t know what I can bring so it will be good to give them an eye opener.”

Vassallo is hoping for a good season ahead and believes that Southport have no reason not to be celebrating at the end of the campaign.

“My personal target will be to play as many games as possible and score goals. I want to get promoted which is the same with everyone. We are more than good enough, there are a lot of games to be played but you have to reach for the stars.”

Written by Amos Wynn

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