Town fan Dimaio on the ‘easy’ decision to leave the best job in the world

Southend United vs Chesterfield - Connor Dimaio - Pic By James Williamson
Southend United vs Chesterfield - Connor Dimaio - Pic By James Williamson
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Last week Connor Dimaio left what he called the ‘best job in the world’ but it was an easy decision.

The 22-year-old is a Chesterfield lad and a Spireites fan, so making 54 appearances for his boyhood club was a dream come true.

That dream ended, or was at least put on hold, when he departed the Proact on transfer deadline day.

“I got in touch with the gaffer through my agent to ask what was happening with me,” he said.

“He said I could go and find another club.

“So we sorted a payment out which both parties accepted.”

Despite his love for the club and the honour that he felt pulling on the blue shirt, he didn’t have to agonise over the decision to leave because he wasn’t pulling on that shirt often enough.

Dimaio believed he should have been playing more often, but made just 14 appearances this season.

“I think it was an easy decision,” he insisted.

“Throughout the season it was tough for me.

“Pre-season I did really well, through the season I don’t think I got played when I should have got played.

“You stick to what you’re good at, what you believe in and keep working hard.

“Then a chance will come, if not the next game then the game after, that’s what I thought.

“But that’s football obviously.

“It was difficult but easy, in a way.”

The former Netherthorpe pupil was a frequent visitor to Saltergate as a youngster, attending his first game at three and going on to support the Spireites sides of the early 2000s.

He started playing the game at Old Whittington and Brampton Rovers Juniors before Sheffield United signed him at the age of nine.

But when his time at Bramall Lane came to an end on 1st February 2016, he began to live every Town fan’s dream.

It’s a dream he hopes will come true again in the future.

“It was the best job in the world, for me, the best thing, to play for Chesterfield,” he said.

“I can’t explain, growing up as a young lad it’s a dream to play for your local team and I managed to do it.

“I’d like to thank them for everything they’ve done for me.

“Hopefully I’ll be able to do it again some time.

Football supporters often like to see local lads in the team and he quickly endeared himself to Town fans with a goal and an assist on his home debut against Crewe.

Being local afforded Dimaio plenty of opportunities to interact with the club’s fanbase, even if it wasn’t always praise he was receiving.

“Supporters were brilliant, even when I got criticism it was constructive.

“I took it on the chin, sat down and thought about it, thought about what my strengths were and what I could improve on.

“Some of the fans supported me a lot, I’d like to thank them a lot.”

The next chapter of Dimaio’s career is an important one.

He needs to play games and while he’s in no rush to sign just anywhere, the idea of dropping out of the Football League doesn’t scare him.

“I’ll just wait and see what comes up, take my time and pick the right club.

“I believe I’m a Football League player, but if a Conference side came in it wouldn’t be that bad.

“I think going down to come back up is not a bad thing, a lot of players have done it.

“Hopefully I can stay in the Football League, that’s my aim.

“I want somewhere I can enjoy my football again and play.”