Interview with Cambridge Tigers’ Josh Dawes
For 15 year-old Josh Dawes, it has been a season to remember – not only topping the goal scoring charts for Cambridge Tigers in his first full season in the first team, but also breaking into the England under-17s world cup squad.
Now he hopes to add one more accolade – promotion to the England Korfball Premier Division at the play-offs on 6-7 May, and the chance to join his brother, Jacob Dawes, in the top division.
It won’t be his first taste of play-off action though. Last season Josh thought he had won promotion for Tigers, scoring with less than a minute to go in their final match against Birmingham. However, it ended in heartbreak when Birmingham equalised to make it 7-7 in the final three seconds of the game.
I thought I’d scored the winner
Josh said: “It was a bit hard to take last year. I came on and thought I’d scored the winner. However the setback has pushed us on and we will be even more prepared this season.”
He hopes to join his brother, Jacob Dawes of Tornadoes, in the England Korfball Premier Division. And would relish the chance to match-up against him. “It would be a new experience playing in the national league against him, I’ve played against him in training, but would be great to face him competitively.
“It would be great to get the experience playing at that level, hopefully we could get a few wins and stay up there too.”
Josh has been involved with the England set-up for the past season, first at under 15s level, and now under 17s. And has just been called into the under 17s squad for the U17 Korfball World Cup which takes place in Schijndel, The Netherlands at the end of June.
England Under-17 Squad
Josh started playing korfball at Ely Vikings when he was just five years old, thanks to his parents who also play. Looking back on his time at Ely he recalls “there was a good juniors section, the coaches really encouraged me.”
He has flourished at Cambridge since moving there three years ago admitting that he has come on “leaps and bounds” at Tigers.
Dawes thinks that part of the success is the team around him. He said: “Everyone has been super supportive of me this year. As one of the younger members of the squad – it’s been great to have my team mates help me along. We are quite a close team and that has really helped us this season.”
Breaking into the first team on a regular basis has been a great experience for Dawes. He said: “This year I’ve improved a lot, it is quite a big transition between local league and the promotion and SERL games. But playing at a higher level has really helped me to come on as a player.
“Right now though I’m just focused on getting us up into the national league and hopefully rising up the ranks in the England set-up.”
Watch Josh in action for Cambridge Tigers at the England Korfball League promotion play-offs on 6-7 May at K2 in Crawley. Click here to buy your tickets.