Andy Dawson reveals his Hull City decision process before taking job too big to turn down

Hull City wasted no time in moving to appoint club legend Andy Dawson as Shota Arveladze’s first-team coach following the departure of Tony Pennock, and it’s a move that has captured the imagination of supporters, and Dawson himself.

Having played more than 300 times for the Tigers during a distinguished playing career, Dawson had been in charge of the Under-23s at the MKM Stadium before being approached by Arveladze, assistant boss Peter van der Veen and vice-chairman Tan Kesler earlier this week to take over from his good friend, who has opted to move on in search of a number one job.

Dawson will step up to duties with the first team once City’s players report back for pre-season training on June 20, and it’s a day that can’t come soon enough, as he tells Hull Live, just moments after the public announcement was made on Friday morning.

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“Not that long, it was quite a quick turnaround. I had a meeting with the gaffer, Tan, and Peter earlier in the week,” he said when asked how long he’d known about the job. “I had a little bit of time to think about it and it’s all done and dusted, now. I’m really looking forward to it. Once it was made public that Tony was leaving, they asked me to become the first-team coach. It’s a real honor for me, if I’m honest, it’s always nice to be wanted as an individual.

“I was really enjoying my role with the Under-23s, the lads had done really well last year. Hopefully, we’ve got a lot of good young players coming through the system which is credit to Nayls (Richard Naylor), Matt Hare , and all the coaching team, sports science team, and all the staff at the academy. “

Dawson admits it took time to come to the decision he eventually did, purely down to how much he enjoyed being in charge of the Under-23s set-up, and the success they’ve had this season both finishing third in the league and seeing the likes of Josh Hinds and Jevon Mills come through and make their senior debuts.

“It was a decision that I needed a couple of days to think about,” he said. “I spoke to Tan and the gaffer again and told them that it would be a real honor to take the role, I’m really excited, looking forward to it and it’s a great opportunity for me personally. City are a forward-thinking club , everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction, everybody seems to be positive and it’s really exciting times.

“Every role within the game is different, and so is every job title in terms of whatever you do in any way of life. I was honest and open with the gaffer and Tan, I told them that I loved the job I’d been doing for the previous two-and-a-half years, and I loved working with all the academy staff and players.

“We’d had real success. We had four debuts this season which as an academy staff (is fantastic). Every staff member at the academy has had a tiny input in those players making progress forward and inevitably its the club that benefits and the team they’re playing in.

“When you’re a part of that and you become a first-team member, things change, and accountability changes. When you’re taking the Under-23s your role is different from a first-team coach. You make more decisions, you decide what the training session is going to be.When you’re a first-team coach you obviously have input but inevitably it will be the gaffer who decides what we’re doing.

“You’ve got to weigh all those decisions up and how you’re going to have an impact in the role that you’re taking. I love my previous job, but I see that I can have a real impact and help the gaffer , Peter, Baz (Richardson), and everybody involved with the first-team staff. I’m really excited about it and I feel as though I’ve got a really important role to play. “

Working with Arveladze will be nothing new for Dawson after playing a key role in the transition from Grant McCann’s management in January following Acun Ilicali’s takeover. It involved working closely with Pennock, and he admits to being impressed with what he saw from the Georgian in the month-long spell he enjoyed with the first-team setup.

“I speak to Tony regularly,” Dawson explained. “I often brought the Under-23s to Cottingham where Tony would take a session involving the lads who maybe hadn’t had much game time. We had a really good working relationship, I came down from the Under-23s when Shota came in and I was there for the first month of his reign, so I know the way he worked, I knew the personality that he brought to the environment and I thought that I could really work with him if I’m honest with you.

“He (Arveladze) seems a really good guy, I like the way he’s trying to do things and if I can have a small hand in helping the club move forward and him progress I’m more than happy to do that.”

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