Kevin Dzierzawski spotlight


The latest addition to the list of players to have played for Queen of the South from distant and exotic shores has recently been added to by Kevin Dzierzawski from USA. There are existing Doonhamer connections between Dumfries and North America. For example some players in the past have left Queens and went on to play in the USA. The most distinguished achievement of those in the States is arguably David Robertson who gained a full cap playing for his adopted country in 1925. Neil Martin in the latter part of his career played for San Antonio Thunder in 1976. Tommy O`Hara left Queen of the South in 1978 approaching his 25th birthday. He spent three seasons in the States with Washington Diplomats picking up the club Player of the Year award in 1979 and having Johan Cruyff (no kidding) and Wim Jansen as team mates in 1980. He then spent a year with the Jacksonville Tea Men. Wee Jimmy Coughlin emigrated to the USA in 1984 after seven years with Queens. More recently, Englishman, Martyn Lancaster, played for QoS in the last decade in between playing for three different clubs in the USA. And of course, Dumfries appears in the names of numerous towns and settlements in North America (e.g. in Minnesota, Ohio, Ontario, Virginia).

Dzierzawski first came to the attention of the Palmerston faithful when turning in an impressive display in the pre season 0-0 draw against Hearts. Further appearances have been hampered by bureaucratic red tape re a work permit and again in the last week due to the domestic football break for the internationals. Now though, he is available for selection. A very polite interviewee, here`s some info from Kevin himself.

“I`m from Oakland in Michigan and went to college in New Hampshire which is about two hours outside of Boston. I went to Dartmouth College. I went to High School in Michigan and I was being recruited by colleges. Dartmouth were one of the colleges that were recruiting me. They have a really good academic reputation and a very good athletic reputation in the Ivy League. It was kind of a win win for me, education was really important for me in case football didn`t pan out. I was studying Sociology and Economics at Dartmouth.”



More detail on the Ivy League:

“The Ivy League is kind of the `Ancient Eight`, its a very prestigious league with the likes of Harvard, Yale and Princeton, it consists of eight colleges which are in the North East, and they all just have a tremendous reputation for being very difficult to get into and graduate from on an academic stand point. I was at Dartmouth for four years”.

Achievements playing for Dartmouth:

“We won the Ivy League. One year we made the NCAA [National Collegiate Athletic Association] tournament. I was captain for two years and voted to the starting eleven of the league select team two years in a row.”

Favoured position:

“I had a good year, my third year, as an attacking centre mid. I had a good year in my fourth year, as a defensive centre mid. So lets just say its centre mid.”

Team mates from Dartmouth who we may hear of at some point?

“Both guys that I know of that I played beside that are now playing professionally play in Sweden. One of them was Dan Keat. He played for the LA Galaxy with David Beckham and Landon Donovan. They won two MLS cups when he was there. He is now with Falkenbergs in the Superettan [second tier] in Sweden. And then the other guy was Craig Henderson who plays for Mjällby AIF in the Allsvenskan [top tier] in Sweden.”

Watch out Lee Robinson.

Road from Dartmouth to Dumfries:

“The head coach at Dartmouth, Jeff Cook, had a lot of connections to Scotland. That`s where he got all of his coaching badges from, his UEFA license from. Bobby Clark who was ex Aberdeen goalkeeper, he was head coach at Dartmouth. And Jeff who was just after Bobby, I think was entranced with the Scottish side of things that Bobby brought to the table. He just took it up from there. He`d made a lot of contacts in Scotland through Bobby I assume and through getting his coacing badges here.”

“Two summers ago I went and played with an SPL team and just kind of had a continued interest in Scotland. This summer I was kind of travelling around Europe on trials and came to Scotland for one through a contact of Jeff`s and of Jim McIntyre`s and landed at Queens and it worked out.”

Match fitness after the frustration of the work permit red tape:

“I played in the first reserves team on Tuesday against Raith. I felt quite good to be honest with you. Obviously I haven`t played in near as many matches as a lot of the guys, but I`ve been keeping up with my fitness just as well as most of the guys I`d like to think. After the first 90 minutes since the Hearts game my body was a little sore yesterday but felt great in training today [Thursday]. So hopefully it hasn`t hit me too hard and I`m not too behind the rest of the team.”

And to finish on lighter note, how do you cope with the variety of Scottish accents of your team mates?

Laughing back cheerily, “To be honest it all depends on now quickly they talk. The guys who talk a little slower I can understand much better. It is very nice that Jim talks a little slower for me so that I can understand everything he says.”

And not so slowly?

“Gerry McCabe, the Assistant Manager, to be honest I usually can`t understand anything he says, I usually have to ask one of the other boys what he was trying to say, what points he was trying to get across. But even with some of the guys I just end up, they`re trying to tell me something, I usually just end up smiling, laughing or going along with it, because I have no idea what they are saying sometimes.”

Multiculturalism at Palmerston Park. Any particular names just for a little fun?

Still cheery, “You can put Derek Lyle. I usually have not a clue what he is saying but he`s a jokester so I usually assume its something funny so I just go along and laugh. But its much better than a different language, just a different dialect, so I can get bits and pieces and put the story together most of the time usually."


Derek Lyle. Not just Palmerston`s Mr Trophies. Off the pitch banter is very much alive and well at QoS.


Welcome to Scotland Kevin, welcome to Queen of the South, and best wishes for many win bonuses when you are with Queens. And to the Dzierzawski family over in the United States, nice job you did bringing that lad up.