A Conversation with Sean Mason

What are your first football memories as a youngster?

Playing wise I think it was at Crystal Palace Sports Centre. My dad used to take me every Saturday to training and from there I went into my first team. I think my first memory watching football was watching the 2001 FA Cup final and unfortunately Arsenal losing to Liverpool.

How old were you when you first played for a team?

I think I was 6 or 7 and I played for a team called Stanhope and I was a striker back then. Haha 

Did you play for your school team?

I didn’t play for my primary school team as I chose to train with my Sunday team at the same time instead. I played in secondary school though.

Did any of your boyhood friends or teammates go on to play at a professional level?

Yeah there are a few people I played and grew up with who are in the professional leagues. The two I played with that are most recognizable now are Joe Gomez who I went to school with and still am good friends with now. Also Aaron Wan Bissaka who used to play upfront for my Sunday team and scored loads of goals upfront.

Do you have hidden talents in any other sports?

I actually used to play cricket at district level until I was about 13.  I started playing less and less as football was my main sport. I still try and fit in 1 or 2 games a year now.

Dulwich Hamlet FC has a thriving development system and they have seen many players move on into the Football League. You were at Dulwich Hamlet in your youth days.  Why are that club so successful in developing talent?

I think they produce a lot of players because they are very detailed in all of their instructions, and they are very experienced at what they do. They also train more than most non-professional teams which helps and they offer plenty of opportunities into senior football.

Before City you played for our neighbours Godalming Town.  What led you to sign for that club? 

I was at Dulwich and I was about 19 at the time. I was getting minutes for the first team but I joined Godalming on a month’s loan at first. But then I ended up staying permanently until the end of the season.

Sadly your season at Godalming was a struggle for the team on the pitch.  What are your memories of that period?

I remember when I joined it seemed impossible that we would stay up. But I think we got to a stage where it was possible, and we ended the season not too bad picking up some decent points but not enough.

For Guildford you have played most often at right back, and sometimes in central defence. What is your favourite playing position, and do you dream of a radically different role in the team?

I don’t think I mind either position. Obviously at right back you get to go forward more which is fun unless we’re defending all game. I see myself as someone who can play a lot of positions if I need too, but I think I’ll be happy in the back four.

Its noticeable that from time to time you turn up in the opposition box looking to get on the scoresheet. Is you aim to get on the scoresheet more often?

Yeah definitely I said this to myself last season, but I only got one goal. If I can contribute with assists and key passes to I’ll be happy, but a few more goals would be nice.

How do you juggle your football commitments with your day job?

I normally finish at five in the weekdays and so it’s not too bad getting to football. Sometimes for the further games I’ll start work an hour earlier and leave at four so I have some flexibility.

When finally your football playing days come to an end how will you spend your spare time?

That’s a long time away for now so haven’t thought too much. I’m not sure about management though. I don’t think I’d want to be a gaffer, maybe a number two or coach. But who knows I’ve got some time to change my mind.

You have been Player of the Season for two consecutive years. What does being recognised in this way mean to you?

It’s nice to know that your teammates and gaffer believe in me and trust me because I tend to be quite harsh on myself, and so at least I know I am doing something right.

Finally last season was disappointing for everybody at Guildford City. What are your realistic hopes for the new campaign – both personally and for the team?

Yeah last season was way below par. When I first joined we were around the top four pushing at the top end the table.  The next year we were in a relegation battle which was mad. I just hope we can get back challenging at the top end of the table. For me I just want to stay consistent and chip in with a few goals.