Veteran goalkeeper Dwayne Adams relives experience after turning out for Rangers
Dwayne ‘Streaker’ Adams came out of retirement to help his team for the second time in a decade, but again the former Bermuda goalkeeper could not prevent Dandy Town from running away with a comfortable victory.
It happened in September 2012 when Adams answered a late call to help out North Village, whose goalkeeper, Jason Williams, was unavailable. Town won that match 4-0 with Angelo Simmons scoring a hat-trick.
Fast forward to New Year’s Day 2022 and Adams, now coach of Southampton Rangers, was forced to play in goal because goalkeepers Sean Perinchief and Jason Smith were not available for the match against Dandy Town who, this time around, ran out 5-0 winners.
Simmons scored one of the goals as Cecoy Robinson netted a hat-trick for the league leaders. Tomiko Goater scored the other goal.
Ten years ago Adams answered a call from then Village coach Shaun Goater to play for the team in the season-opening Charity Cup match on a Saturday night in September after playing alongside Goater in the Nelson Bascome charity match earlier in the day.
“I cracked a joke with Goater before the match when I said ‘anytime you need me, call me’ and in the locker after the game he said ‘remember what you said earlier, I need you to play against Town’,” Adams recalled.
“I think I played about three or four games that season, but that was the first game I had played in a while.”
Adams, who turns 49 in two weeks’ time, made another unexpected return to action on Saturday at Southampton Oval, this time calling on himself to fill the void in the key position.
“It was fun to be back out there, to see if you can still be competitive,” he said. “Sometimes you can go out there and make a fool of yourself, my plan was not to make a fool of myself.
“I was able to make a few saves to try to keep the score down, though the next day was not as fun as the game,” Adams said, referring to the aches and pain.
“I realise I did play the day before. You are normally in football shape but goalkeepers are a little bit different, diving and landing on the ground and getting some bangs and bumps. It was good to play and help the team out, the next day was about recovering.
“Our goalkeeper was unavailable, and we had some players out injured anyway as we have an aged team. For us it ‘s going to be difficult with so many matches back-to-back. We just had to adjust for the day.”
Adams realised that morning that he would have to play, and while goalkeepers usually play longer than outfield players do, the veteran goalkeeper knew it was going to be a real challenge against the Premier Division leaders, a team that had scored 20 goals in their first nine games. By comparison, Rangers have conceded 35 already in ten games.
Despite the comfortable victory for Town, Adams did manage to impress his team-mates and opponents, many who had not see him play before.
“If you ask anybody I don’t think they thought I was out of place, my players and spectators said ‘we guys lost 5-0 but you was definitely man of the match’,” he said.
“That was the comment that was coming back to me. Some of my team-mates said you must have been really good back in the day. They had just heard the name, they hadn’t seen me play.”
Before the match Adams had to convince himself that he could do the job.
“You know how it goes in goal, you might as well do it yourself rather than ask another player to do it,” he told himself.
“Would I do it again? Well if I’m called upon. But I’ll do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen!
“I’m going to do a few things so that if I’m called upon again I will be in better goalkeeping shape than I was on Sunday.
“I enjoyed the saves and being caught in a one-on-one with their players, being able to stand them up or force them outside. I was enjoying that part of the game. Diving comes natural.”
Adams added: “We were definitely understaffed on Saturday, we had players who hadn’t played all season and they played 90 minutes.
“To get out of it like we did is a testament to the guys who came in and played. We tried to hang in as a team for the 90 minutes.”