Dale Eve refusing to concede in pursuit of professional career
Dale Eve is refusing to give up on his pursuit of a career in professional football as he aims to work his way back into the English league system.
The Bermuda goalkeeper is again on the lookout for a new permanent club after opting to cut ties with Vanarama National League North side Spennymoor Town in the latter stages of last season after growing frustrated at a lack of playing time.
It is a decision that the 27-year-old has no lingering regrets after he turned down an opportunity to return to the County Durham-based outfit this season.
“I found myself in a situation where the club were not in a position that they wanted to be in and the powers that be wanted to go out and buy a large number of new players with a new manager in place,” he said.
“What didn’t help me is that I returned to Bermuda for four days to attend the funeral of Osagi Bascome and in that time the club had brought in a new goalkeeper on emergency loan.
“Having been the first-choice goalkeeper, I found myself out of the team for the rest of the season and it was obvious that I wasn’t going to be playing.
“It was a frustrating situation and because the club was not prepared to sell or loan me out, I took the decision to end my contract.
“Spennymoor phoned me recently about the possibility of going back to the club but I didn’t want to make the sacrifice of moving from Birmingham back to the North of England and risk the same situation happening again.
“Jason Ainsley, whom I played under previously, has been brought back as manager but while he wasn’t in charge when I lost my place in the team, he was still involved in the club and was part of the decision-making.
“I know football can be like that sometimes, but I just don’t want to put myself in that sort of situation again.”
While Eve continues to ponder his options, he has been maintaining his fitness by training with non-League sides Hereford FC and Bromsgrove Sporting but playing for Knowsley in the Cheshire Football League Premier Division.
It is a situation that the custodian is happy to find himself in if only for the short term.
“I don’t have any official deal in place with anyone. I’ve been training with Hereford and Bromsgrove and then played in a match for Knowsley,” said Eve, who made his debut in a 4-2 league victory over Poynton on Saturday.
“The situation with Knowsley came about through my mentor Tony Robinson knowing their manager Karl Brown and it is a case of me helping them out as much as them helping me keep up my match fitness.
“The manager is a former professional [Derby County and Getafe] and is well connected. The club are not too far from Birmingham and it allows me to keep up my match fitness and showcase what I can do in a game environment to potential clubs.
“It was good to be back out playing and I know all the game time I get can only be a positive thing.”
Once considered a top prospect by former Premier League side Stoke City, Eve also had brief spells with Forest Green Rovers and Ilkeston Town before returning to Bermuda and playing for Robin Hood in 2017 but he is determined not to give up on his professional aspirations and return to the island to play.
“I’ll never walk away from trying to be a professional player,” he said. “I turned my back on trying to play over in England when returned to Bermuda in 2017 and I don’t want to be in that position again.
“It doesn’t matter how long it might take or how hard it is, if it’s my choice, I’ll always choose to pursue this dream.”
Eve is well aware of the possibility of finding himself back in the football wilderness, particularly in his position as a goalkeeper.
“It’s the hardest position to try to get a chance because clubs seem to keep confidence in their goalkeepers, you don’t get that chance to make an impression off of the bench for 20 minutes or so,” he added.
“I’m 27 now and I still want to play at as high a level as I possibly can. I want to sign for a club that is a decent enough level but that is also right for me. I want to be part of the right project with a team that has the ambition to really push on and go somewhere. I’ll consider any club but it just has to feel right to me.”