Spotlight on Dean Inman
Taimour Lay trapped Kingstonian's big December signing in a corner and wouldn't let him out until an interview was conducted...
Dean Inman’s arrival was, it has to be said, a shock—and arguably Kingstonian’s biggest “statement” signing since the capture of David Leworthy for £12,000 in 1997. Part of a league-winning Billericay team, awarded their November player of the month at Step 2 in November 2018, suddenly Inman was at K’s on an 18-month contract. Taimour Lay sat down with him after the win over Bognor Regis...
First of all, welcome to K’s! You’ve certainly had an eventful couple of weeks..
It weren’t the best start! We lost 4-0 at home [to Haringey] on my debut and then drew last weekend when we should’ve won but didn’t take our chances. But we certainly took them today and it was great to get the win.
We all love a ding-dong in the rain.
They must be fun for the fans when you can watch the players sliding around like nutters. But that second-half, that was tough. It was boggy. It’s alright until you can’t keep your feet! The rain makes it horrible!
So how did the move to K’s come about? Ricay went full-time mid-season and I understand you didn’t want to move jobs but you couldn’t have been short of offers.
I’ve known Leigh a while from when we were at Farnborough and I know quite a few of the players at K’s. I kind of knew what to expect. I spoke to Leigh and he explained his ambition and how he wants to play. He was really persuasive, I’ve worked with him before, so I looked at it, it’s nice and local for me. I work in Sunbury and live in Staines. So it’s only 20 minutes down the A3, the M25, and I’m home. So I said to Leigh “OK, I’ll sign for you”. I think at one point, he got a bit worried when there were a few other clubs coming in and he was ringing some other boys I know asking ‘Will he sign?! He told me he’d sign!’ But, look, when I give someone my word, I always stick to it. Leigh – he’s always quite level-headed. He doesn’t get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. He shouts when he has to shout. He realises what players need.
But were you wary of returning to Step 3 or was it more about finding a challenge that interested you?
Exactly that. There were a few clubs but I decided to step down. This is a very strong side and it would be good to try to win this league again. With the players we’ve got, it’s exciting. The title isn’t out of the question. If you can get 6 or 7 games in a row, we can easily push up.
What was your experience like at Billericay? From the outside, all we see is the apparent chaos but was it in fact fairly stable on the inside?
What’s crazy is all the noise and how everyone’s always talking about in on social media. To be fair to Glenn [Tamplin], he’s put so much in there and we had real success. I’m still in touch with the boys there. I wish them all the best. I had a great 18 months, we did the treble. This season was good too, we played at Chesterfield in the FA Cup, I got the [Vanarama South player of the month] award and then signed for Kingstonian, so a lot of fans were perplexed!
Were you tempted to go full-time there?
I had six months left on my deal. I didn’t want to give up my job, go full-time and then not know if I was going to get another deal and be in limbo. It would’ve been three mornings a week so I would have to give up my job [at ADT Security in Sunbury].
So it’s not even just the financial position overall. Even if I was full-time for 6 months, you don’t know where you’ll be. So stability-wise, it was the best thing.
What are your remaining ambitions in football? Do you think about playing in the National league?
I’d love to play back in the Conference [I love it when players use the old name—Ed] and test myself. But it’s hard when you have a job and you’re playing. You have a Tuesday away game at AFC Fylde and you get back at 4am and then go to work. And it affects your personal life. K’s is nice and local for me.
Even Billericay it could take 3 hours. It mentally drains you. You feel bad for your partner because the nights you’re not training, you’re tired and you don’t want to do anything. It’s about a balance. So far at K’s, it’s been good and the fans seem happy I’m here.
What do you make of your chant? “Deano! Deano!”.
“Deano! Deano!” That’s all I’ve ever had all my life!
OK, time for some quickfire questions. Who are the best players you’ve ever played with?
Jamie O’Hara and Jermaine Pennant. On the ball. You can see how good they are. Before they’ve even got it, they’ve seen three pictures of what to do with it.
What’s been your favourite moment in the game?
Port Vale away [in 2015] when I was with Maidenhead. We scored a 94th minute equaliser in the FA Cup when they were league one and we were Conference south.
Any time you get sent off. Touch wood, I haven’t been sent off for about 4 seasons!
Favourite TV programme?
What do you do to escape football?
Spa at the gym. Sauna, steam room, plunge pool, whirlpool. David Lloyd in Hampton.
You’re on an 18-month contract so you’ve got next season to look forward to already…
I’ve heard Jamie Lawrence’s pre-seasons are insane. So I’ll enjoy the summer and then not look forward to that!
This interview first appeared in the matchday programme on 19 January 2019.