Andy Dawson using son’s Celtic experience to boost his Hull City coaching role

SUCCESSFUL coaches broaden their knowledge through hard seasons at the coalface, countless hours on the training ground and in the classroom and learning from their mentors.

Hull City first-team coach Andy Dawson can vouch for all that. He also learns from someone very close to him. His son, Joey.

Dawson junior is a teenage forward on the books of Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic.

He moved north of the border from Scunthorpe United in June 2021 and made his Hoops bow on Boxing Day. At the start of his career, he became the youngest ever player to debut for the Iron at the age of 16 in August 2019.

Andy Dawson back at Hull City as first-team coach (Picture: Hull City)

Having a first-hand perspective of what it is like for a young modern-day professional making his way in the game in 2022 – and being privy to their joys and struggles – is helping to educate Dawson senior in his current role.

Dawson told The Yorkshire Post: “He has had a year up there and made his debut last Christmas. For me, he has helped me become a better coach.

“Being a parent, I listen to the pitfalls he can go through and the ups and downs that all footballers have. I take it in one ear to try and help him as a dad and also listen as a coach and think ‘Do you know what, we might have some players who are going through those issues.’

“I am always listening, trying to learn and help – as a parent and a coach. Hopefully he’ll have another good season.”

Andy Dawson made over 300 appearances for Hull City (Picture: Tony Johnson)

As a player, Dawson’s association with Hull was a pretty golden one. His distinguished career saw him represent the club over 300 times.

He went up to the Premier League not once but twice and is deserving of the moniker of legend. He was also the first City player to win four promotions.

After leaving Hull in 2013, Dawson, now 43, switched to the south bank of the Humber and joined Scunthorpe, initially as player-coach. Just as players have vicissitudes, so do coaches.

He continued: “You don’t become a coach overnight. Nine years ago, Steve Bruce gave me an opportunity to stay here and work with Clem (Stephen Clemence) and the under-23s.

Andy Dawson enjoyed two promotions with Hull City (Picture: Tony Johnson)

“But I wanted to get away from the environment and not be remembered as a coach who has just been here because I was a player. I took a risk and carried on as a player-coach for another year and had five brilliant years at Scunthorpe and developed.

“I had loads of ups and downs, I don’t mind admitting that. Whether it’s football, but also life, no-one is successful all of the time. The ones who do are the ones who learn when things go against them and I had a few downs at Scunthorpe and things I should have done better.

“But I have experienced them and think I am better for it and more ready for the role I am in now to help people learn and progress.

“I got promoted as a player and coach and we got in two play-offs in League One, but never won any and I also got relegated. You get lots of highs and lows in football and you only really appreciate the highs when you have been through the lows where you learn a lot more.”

Dawson returned to Hull to join their academy set-up in 2019. In May, he was promoted to first-team coach after moving from his position as under-23s supremo.

This summer has been a positive one for Dawson and City. The working environment is healthy and there is a palpable feel-good factor under owner Acun Ilicali.

Whisper it quietly, but it’s starting to harken back to those happier times Dawson enjoyed as a player in the amber and black.

In that regard, Saturday was a sound start as the Tigers triumphed 2-1 against Bristol City in front of an opening-day crowd of just under 17,000.

For perspective, Hull had just one league crowd higher in the whole of last season.

He said: “I was lucky enough to have two promotions from the Championship with Phil Brown and Steve Bruce.

“Both had different styles and were different people. If somebody asks me about them, I just say they were good people who challenge you on and off the pitch. Both dealt with adversity in really good ways.

“I think we have a fantastic group of people, coaching staff, players and support team here now. There’s good people everywhere and when you have that, it’s a good ingredient to have a successful season on the pitch.

“You walk around the city and there’s that positive vibe when people talk about Hull City again. The chairman has brought that, credit to him.

“When everyone is together and buys into that, the culture and environment is positive. To have everyone pulling in the right direction is huge and the fans are starting to come back and be a massive part of us progressing.

“When this place (MKM Stadium) is full, there’s no better place. And once you get that snowball rolling, it is hard to stop.

“Hull is a big city and it is a stadium we can fill without a shadow of a doubt.”