Scottish football has treated Andy Dorman very well.
Since arriving at St. Mirren Park in January, the Welshman has not only gotten himself up to speed, but has secured a spot in the Saints’ starting XI as well. In his first start with his new club on January 19th, Dorman assisted on teammate Mark Corcoran’s first goal of the match against Motherwell.
It’s fair to say that if his early form is any indication, Dorman has returned to his familiar playmaking self after the questionable demotion to the Revolution bench toward the tail end of last season.
Revsnet’s Brian O’Connell recently caught up with the former Revolution midfielder to get his view on Scottish football, and his new life in Paisley, Scotland.
Brian: After arriving at St. Mirren, what were your first impressions of the town? I would assume Foxboro and St. Mirren are very different places to live and work. But are there any similarities at all?
Andy: Paisley is a working class town and is completely different to Foxboro. The good thing is that most of the people are St Mirren fans so it gives the town a sense of identity and brings the people together.
How have you taken to manager Gus MacPherson's style of coaching?
So far I have been impressed, he and Andy Millen are very positive and try to get us to go out and work hard for each other and express ourselves when we get the chance.
How about your new teammates? Are there any similarities between your St. Mirren mates and your former Revolution mates?
All the lads have been good to me since I arrived at the club, everyone enjoys the training sessions because we work hard and have a laugh at the same time. So that is no different to the Revs. The only difference I have noticed so far is that because people live all over the place, they don’t hang out as much outside of training as at the Revs.
After playing in the United States for a combined seven years, there are obviously adjustments to be made when playing in another country. What has been the most difficult adjustment to make personally? Professionally?
I am really enjoying the football so that side of it has not been too much of a problem. But personally it has been a bit harder. I am used to living with people and now I am in a flat on my own which is sometimes a bit lonely. My girlfriend is still in the U.S., so I don’t see much of her at the moment. But, at the same time, my family and friends have been traveling up on the weekends for the games so I always have visitors on the weekends, which is good.
Describe your state of mind as you made your St. Mirren debut coming on as a substitute against Dumbarton. How were your nerves?
I was excited to get started. We were 2-0 up and looking pretty comfortable so it was a good situation to be coming on to.
Although you've only played in a handful of matches thus far, how does the style of play in Scottish football differ from American soccer? Are there any similarities?
Scottish football is quicker, but a bit more hectic. It is harder to get the ball down and play because defensively the other team work so hard to close you down and pressure you.
How have the fans been at St. Mirren? How different are the fans there compared to the fans in New England?
There aren’t as many of them at the games but they bring a great atmosphere to home and away games. So (they’re) not too different from the Revs fans. So far it seems like the Revs fans have more of a personal relationship with the fans, over here you don’t see much of the fans outside of the games.
You earned your first start against Motherwell and certainly did your part to aid the club by putting a nice ball through to Mark Corcoran for the first goal of the game. How satisfied were you with your performance?
I was happy with the win first and foremost but it was also nice to get a full 90 (minutes) in which is going to help towards getting fully fit.
You and your club had a big match this past weekend at Rangers, playing at The Ibrox in front of over 45,000 fans. What was that experience like for you?
It was amazing running out of the tunnel before the game in front of that many people. I enjoyed the first 20 (minutes) and I thought we were in the game but then things changed pretty quickly and it was too enjoyable chasing the ball for the rest of the game.
What are your goals for the remainder of the season? Do you feel like this situation, one in which you were able to join in the middle of the season rather than having a full season ahead of you, makes things easier or more difficult?
I hope we can have a good run in the (Scottish) Cup and try and push up the table and if we have a bit of luck with injuries there is no reason why we can't do that. I guess playing half a season will make it easier for next year knowing what to expect, but I am just thinking about the next game and no further ahead so it doesn’t make it any easier or difficult because we have a tough game against Dundee United coming up.
(Editor’s note: Dorman scored the deciding goal for St. Mirren yesterday as the Buddies beat Dundee United 1-0 at Tannadice Park. The win helped steer St. Mirren to the Scottish Cup quarterfinals.)