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Player interview - Liam Thear.

Liam "Scrappy" Thear talks about his return from injury and his thoughts on the upcoming season.

Scrappy is a crowd favourite at The UTS Stadium, the young winger possesses the ability to excite supporters with his skill and trickery. Brought to Dunston UTS FC from Gateshead FC's Academy by then Manager Billy Irwin; "Scrappy" came bursting onto the scene like a whirlwind, his energy and attitude infectious. However, Liam suffered an injury during Dunston UTS FC's televised Emirates FA Cup 4th round qualifying game at home to Gateshead FC, in front of a sell-out crowd at The UTS Stadium, which curtailed his excellent progress.

There are high hopes and desires that Liam can really make a difference this coming season, and all those at Dunston UTS FC would love to see him back to the fine form he displayed prior to his injury. He is also one of the only players in the World to wear socks and sliders in the depths of winter.

You’ve signed on again for this season, which is brilliant news. What does playing for Dunston UTS FC mean to you?

The club really does mean a lot to me. I’ve been at Dunston since I was 18 years old and the club really does feel like home. After having an awful last 18 months due to injury, I really want to find my best football again and help the club build on what we started last year in our new division.

How difficult was it for you to deal with an ACL injury?

The injury was a lot tougher than I expected. When I got injured I remember I didn't think it was too serious, so I still went out to town with the lads on a night out. When I got my scan results back I was shocked it was such a serious injury. 

During the time away you're just wanting to be back playing so desperately and you're thinking about it 24/7, so after 9 to 10 months post-surgery there was a lot of nerves built up, which is something I didn't expect and there were some doubts when doing some movements at first. Now my knee feels prefect and there’s no thought about my knee going into next season, I’m just excited to get back in and have a proper pre-season which I missed out on last year.

Having managed to get a few games under your belt towards the end of the season, how do you think the standard of the Northern Premier League compares to that of The Northern League? 

I think the lads got a slight surprise with the quality of the teams at the start of last season. I feel like all the sides are a lot more organised than what we've faced in The Northern League and it didn't really feel like there were any push overs, but the more the season went on the better we got as a team, so I think all the lads, including myself, are really looking forward to next season with us having that little bit more experience.

What's your favourite goal in a Dunson shirt?

My best goal was probably my first ever goal for Dunston, it was a free kick away to Durham City. I remember Billy Irwin telling me to get on it, it was in the last 5 minutes and I was blowing, I could barely walk but I just ran up and hit it sweet and it flew straight in the postage. I didn't hit the target for the three free kicks I took after that and haven’t took another one since.

What would you say has been your best game in a Dunston shirt?

I’d probably have to say away to Stockton Town in the Northern League Cup semi-final. We went there and we were missing a few, we had a few injuries so we were down to pretty much the bare bones.  Swaz had to play me up top and I managed to get a hat-trick, I think it was either 3-1 or 3-2 and we went on to win it, so that’s definitely one that I really enjoyed!

Video below - Liam Thear's best game in a Dunston shirt.

Video courtesy of Dunston UTS FC TV - subscribe to our channel on YouTube

Images provided by Beauty Time Photography. All rights reserved by Kelvin Shell.

Published Tuesday 23rd June 2020