Goalkeeping is something that clearly runs through the Beasant family.
With Dave, a former England international between the sticks, now plying his trade at Reading FC as a coach, Sport Dictator’s Jake decided to have a chat with son Sam, goalkeeper at Braintree Town. Here’s how it went..
First off…You’re in your first year at Braintree Town having joined in the Summer of 2016. How do you think the season has gone?
Sam says; “I joined in September I think, so I missed the start. Think we were 2nd bottom. Personally I think I have had a good season, making match winning saves etc. As a club we started off slow but had a good run over the winter period climbing out of relegation and staying out.”
Looking back at previous non-league moves in your career, you’ve been to the likes of Maidenhead United, Woking FC and now Braintree..How has your move to the Iron compared to others & what was it that attracted you to make the move to Essex?
Sam says; “They have all been part-time teams training Tuesday and Thursday evenings so all quite similar to be honest. In regards to signing with Braintree, I spent all of pre-season with Borehamwood to be offered a contract I couldn’t accept. Then got the call on a Thursday night from Jamie Day, the manager at the time and was playing 2 days later on the Saturday. Guaranteed game time was a big factor.”
Just what sort of impact has your Dad had on you growing up? Did you always want to play between the sticks?
Sam says; “He had a massive impact. I loved going to his games every weekend. I was a striker as a youngster until the goalkeeper left. I then decided I would play in goal and really enjoyed it. He never pushed me into it but said if that it what I wanted to do then he would help me along the way.”
You had a trial at Birmingham City a few years back before joining the ranks at Maidenhead in the Vanarama South..what made you choose the move to Berkshire?
Sam says; “I was at the Glenn Hoddle academy at the time and Birmingham had come down to watch a few games and asked me to go up. The GHA trained at Bisham Abbey just down the road from Maidenhead. They took a Goalkeeper called Billy Lumley for the season but he got Glandular Fever so I went there to cover and ended up staying there for a while.”
Johnson Hypolytte was manager at the time..just what was he like in the dressing room and on a personal level with you? He seemed quite a passionate leader on the touchline!
Sam says; “Yeah, ‘Drax’. Yeah he was, quite relaxed at times but then when he needed to switch it on he knew how to.”
Afer your spell at Maidenhead you went on to play at Woking before leaving for Billericay Town after just 3 apps..you returned to Woking the following season..what was the driving force behind your decision to return?
Sam says; “My first spell there I signed the day before the season started so didn’t really have a chance to claim the number spot and the manager was fond of the other goalkeeper. Billericay was just somewhere for me to go and get games and then I signed back for Woking at the beginning of pre season to give myself a really shot at playing.”
You must have really impressed on your return as the following season you actually made the move to the football league with Stevenage FC..Having not played for a full-time side until this point how did it make you feel to sign for the football league outfit?
Sam says; “Yeah I had a good season. Graham Westley had come down to watch another player and I must have impressed him. Yeah it was good to get recognised after working hard with Woking.”
You were sharing goalkeeping duties with Chris Day in pre-season and got the nod to start in the first game of the season, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for Stevenage – would you mark that down as one of your proudest moment in football?
Sam says; “Yeah it was a special day for me. Had my family there watching. And after a lot of ups and downs and people thinking I would never make it it was nice to make my professional debut and keep the clean sheet.”
Obviously you played both non-league and professional football – would you say you learnt more playing in the Football League or at the Conference clubs?
Sam says; “Yeah I probably would say so. I played with a lot more experienced players at both Stevenage and Cambridge. Even though the Conference has some experienced players, you could see the difference in class and levels in League 2.”
Goalkeepers are known to go on a little longer than outfield players, understandably. What are your future aspirations looking like?
Sam says; “Obviously to get back into the Football League again. I think I have had a good enough season to get a bit of interest from clubs in higher leagues.”
What would you say is the best piece of advice you’ve been given & what would you say to youngsters looking to make the professional game?
Sam says; “Probably never get too high after a win and never get too low after a loss.”