November 1, 2012
A third-year defensive star for the Delaware men’s soccer team, John is a health behavior science major with a minor in strength and conditioning at the University of Delaware.
A native of Tralee, Ireland (Brookfield High School), Dineen is serving as a tri-captain with teammates, Roberto Gimenez and Tobias Muller.
Entering the 2012 season, Dineen has appeared in 30 games with 27 starts and has scored 3 goals for head coach Ian Hennessey. Last season, Dineen helped Delaware attain their best season to date with a 13-6-4 record. The Hens held opposing teams to an average of 1.35 goals per game. They won the CAA championship and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
1) What were your individual goals heading into this season?
I wanted to come in more fit than last year, score more goals then I did last year and get on the CAA all-conference team.
2) What do you hope for your team to accomplish here in 2012?
At the start of the season we wanted to finish as the top seed in the CAA and host the conference tournament, win the tournament again and go back to the NCAA tournament.
3) Last season was the best in school history. What are you taking from last year into this season?
It was a good year for us and we have to bring our good home form from last year into this year, the Delaware mini-stadium is a hard place for teams to come and play so we tried to keep it that way this year.
4) What made you want to attend the University of Delaware and play soccer here at UD?
To get the opportunity to come and play soccer here at the University has been a real privilege for me, the facilities, staff and everyone involved made my decision very easy on the soccer side of things. Academically the school has a very good tradition and the campus is one of the nicest places I’ve seen in the US since I’ve been here.
5) What is your major and why did you choose it?
I’m a Health Behavior Science major with a minor in Strength & Conditioning. I decided on that major because I’ve always been interested in sports and health.
6) Is there any other sport you would like to play at the NCAA or professional level?
My favorite sport and the sport I played most growing up is an Irish sport called Gaelic Football. Its played with 15 players on a field a bit bigger then a soccer field, its played with a ball similar to a soccer ball but you use your hands and to score and pass it you have to kick the ball. There is a goal similar to a soccer goal and a football goalpost combined and if you kick it in the soccer goal you get 3 points and if it goes over the crossbar its 1 point. At the highest level it’s played in front of crowds of 80,000 people but it is strictly an amateur sport but I'd love to be able to play that at a high level.
7) What differences have you noticed/encountered (if any) from playing soccer in Ireland and now America?
Not much really. The style of play is very similar at home compared to here. Players at home are probably more tactically aware then players here but that’s due to the amount of soccer that’s watched in Ireland. For example, every Saturday and Sunday at home its soccer from nine in the morning till 10 that night on TV but here that’s replaced with football, baseball or basketball. The American guys are so athletic, quick and strong compared to lads at home. I think that comes from playing a bigger variety of sports when they were younger.
8) What has been your favorite class to take here at Delaware?
My favorite class that I have taken was Personal Health Management with Dr. Edwards; it was a very interesting class because all the work and assignments we did was related to real life situations and events. Dr. Edwards is a great woman, and she is a big soccer fan so we had many chats about soccer.
9) What are your plans after college?
Ideally, I would love to continue playing soccer but my playing days could be coming to an end. I would love to stay involved in the game and become a coach but I also picture myself opening a fitness center at some stage in my life or a gym for strength and conditioning.
10) What are your favorite activities off the field?
I love watching TV to be honest, I watch nearly every show on TV but I’m a big fan of sports, especially soccer. However, I’ve started getting into American sports too and I really like watching basketball, the guys that play it are some of the best athletes in the world. I try to play a bit too but as my teammates would tell you I’m not the best. Not many people know this, but I love cooking, before I came to the University of Delaware I was thinking about becoming a chef but was advised against it and things worked out better for me anyway.
11) What has been your most memorable experience at the University of Delaware?
I don't just have one; there are two that come to mind straight away. The first one is being the first Delaware team to win the CAA not just because we won it but the way we won it, everything was against us. We played three games in four days against teams that were expected to beat us but we showed great togetherness that weekend, preformed well and won the tournament. The other was in the first round of the NCAA playing the 2009 National Champion Virginia on their home field. Scoring the game winner in double overtime with just over a minute left was personally a great experience, not just for me, but also for the whole team. Everyone battled so hard that game and again we were big underdogs but as a group we were so strong and fought for everything. The celebrations on the field after the game is something I will remember for the rest of my life.
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