Upcoming MatchHendon vs Dartford/April 23, 2024/Silver Jubilee Park

DARTFORD FC | IN CONVERSATION WITH FUMNAYA SHOMOTUN

Saturday’s game against Maidstone United saw Fumnaya Shomotun feature in our Matchday Programme. For those who missed that feature, here is the full article:

SECTION ONE

Fumnaya Shomotun arrived at Dartford at the beginning of February, straight after impressing Tony Burman during the mid-week Kent Senior Cup fixture against Sevenoaks Town.

The then-Oaks’ winger/second striker impressed many at Bericote Powerhouse Princes Park that Tuesday (29th of January) evening, as his pacey runs down the right-flank caused the Darts no end of problems.

However, now the 26-year-old is lighting up the right-flank as a Dartford player. His pace and ability to run at defenders before either cutting inside, or whipping a dangerous cross into the box has begun causing headaches to our opponents rather than ourselves! And with two goals in his previous four outings, Fumnaya is starting to find the confidence to shoot at goal more, as well as providing assists for his teammates.

Despite the club’s current predicament in the National League South, Fumnaya is in good spirits as we chatted via WhatsApp and email recently…

“Yeah, I’m good thanks for asking Chris. I’ve been here for just over a month now, and have settled in well.”

Considering how well he was playing at Sevenoaks Town, why did Fumnaya decide to sign for the Darts?

“Well, I signed because I was well aware of the pedigree of the club at this level. Tony (Burman) really made me feel wanted and, when you’re shown faith like that, you don’t think twice about your decision. I really appreciate the opportunity that Tony and Craig (Belgrave) gave me, and it just made me want to do the best that I can to help this club.”

It’s no secret that Adrian Pennock has now been appointed as the Dartford manager, meaning that Tony Burman has returned to his normal role(s) behind the scenes. And despite tasting defeat in his first game in charge (away at Torquay United), the new boss has faith in the squad, as Fumnaya explains…

“We met him (Adrian) as a squad on Saturday, where we had an extended training session due to the Worthing game being postponed. He was very straight forward with us. He let us know that he has every single one of our backs, and he was adamant that we would be able to get the job of keeping the club in the National League South done.”

And, how does Fumnaya feel?

“I want to do the same Chris. I want to score, assist, and create as many goals as possible to help keep the club up. I want us to have a strong finish to the season. I want to stay here at Dartford, but I’ve learned not to get too ahead of myself in football. So, as far as next year’s concerned, I’m just going to see what God puts in front of me.”

Speaking of what God puts in front of him, does Fumnaya do anything interesting outside of the beautiful game?

“I’m not sure about it being interesting, but I do work outside of football yeah Chris. I work as a teaching assistant at a secondary school five days a week. I’ve really gotten used to the role and it’s nice to see the effect you can have on the children, as well as the improvements you see them make. It’s quite rewarding.”

Naturally, working a full-time job outside of the game has its challenges for players at this level, especially when fitness is concerned. And Fumnaya is no different, as he explains…

“I usually go to the gym straight after work, or early in the morning before work. I tend to go to the gym on the days when we don’t have training though Chris. It all depends on whether we have a midweek game… then my routine will alter slightly. As far as food is concerned, I more-or-less eat the same things to try to keep my weight and fitness levels relatively good. I also do intermittent fasting during the week. It’s a routine I’ve picked up due to my injuries in the past, so I stay on top of it, which can be a tough task because I work during the week.”

It appears that Fumnaya has everything under control in order to do the best job possible for his new club, while maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle outside of it. And, despite only arriving a month ago, he does have a few words for the Dartford faithful…

“I haven’t been here long, but I’ve felt very welcomed by everyone, especially the fans. I really appreciate the support they give us weekly. It’s no secret that the season has been underwhelming to say the least, but I’m sure that, with their support, we can finish the season strongly and stay in this league. I know that myself and all the boys will do our best for the badge.”

SECTION TWO

Faith or Superstition?

Faith. I’m a very religious person, who believes that everything must happen for a reason, even if it may not look like that in the moment in time.

Best Memory?

My best footballing memory was starting my first game in the football league at 18.

Biggest Influence In Your Career?

My Mum, Dad, and brothers.

Best Goal Scored?

The one I scores against Hartlepool United.

Most Underrated Player You’ve Played With?

Mauro Vilhete (at Hornchurch). He’s small in stature, but one of the hardest players to get the ball off of.

Most Underrated Player You’ve Played Against?

Ricardo Almeida Santos (at Bolton Wanderers). I think he could play in the Premier League. He’s currently at Bolton and is their skipper.

Biggest Influence In The Dressing Room?

Luke Coulson. I know Luke well from my time at Barnet with him, so he made me feel very welcomed and is a good leader. He’s also very informative and is a good people person.

If you were to be involved with a five-a-side tournament, and had to select the best players you have played against, which five players would you choose?

Jamie Stephens (unattached, ex-Barnet) in goal, with Ricardo Almeida Santos (at Bolton Wanderers) and David Tutonda (at Morecambe FC) in defence. Then Wesley Fonguck (at Southend United) in midfield, followed by Ephron Mason-Clarke (at Peterborough) or Justin Amaluzor (at Altrincham) up front.

By Chris Palmer