Dom Slattery made his name as one of the first names on the team sheet last season. The centre half only missed out on one league game due to suspension and provided a youthful and energetic view to our defensive line.
The Braves and manager Ricky Waddell were delighted to announce that he would be re-signing for the coming year in aim to strengthen up our defensive line this term.
We spoke with Dom after re-signing on how his background of coming through the system at University of Stirling was like for him and how it grounded him as a young footballer hoping to make his name in the Scottish game.
During your youth career you were at Queen of the South, once you left school you decided to go to the University of Stirling, what was that like when you decided to go and play for the Stirling Uni team?
It was different, there are 6 teams to go into, if you’re not on a scholarship scheme you could be put into any team. I went into the third team which I thought at the time was good, over the 4 years I made my way up into the first team.
Because of the pyramid system it’s different to being at a club because every team at the Uni is basically a first team, though each are not as good as the others, whereas in a team it’s all geared to getting into the reserves and them the first team.
Do you think that gave you a better / different grounding for a young player?
Well it’s different, because you go to University to firstly study and also enjoy yourself while you are young. The boys liked going out so that was good to get both sides of growing up at that age as well as playing and enjoy the football. Obviously when I made the step up it was more serious and professional which is more the level I’ve always wanted to be at but it was a good experience to play and enjoy myself for four years.
At Stirling Uni, as well as the Lowland League, all of the teams compete in the BUCS League, how was that for your progression?
We played BUCS throughout the four years, at the start it’s only Scottish Leagues, but when you are in the first team it goes to the North of England as well so travelling across the UK playing against top universities and competing with them, so it was a great experience for me.
Obviously leaving Uni your personal life will have changed but when you joined the Braves did you notice the difference in a professional level even though Stirling Uni is almost looked at as full time?
At the Uni it is basically full time, three nights training a week with strength and conditioning sessions but at a club like the Braves its different with the media backing, more supporters/members, so you feel like you’re playing for the people more rather than just for yourself of the Uni.
Are you impressed by how well Stirling Uni do in the Lowland League?
100%, as strong as the leagues are getting, I think the uni will always hold on to a place in the Lowland League, they are so well run, have a great manager and get treated like a full time squad so its a really fit and enthusiastic squad. It was a brilliant set up that definitely grounded me as a footballer.
As a marketing graduate, did you think about the Braves in that way before joining because of the way our club is as aiming to be a forefront in technology?
Definitely, a lot of life these days is aimed towards brand imaging and technology, after four years of modules I can understand where the club wants to go and I think that’s great that they are aiming to go that down that road to making the most of modern times.
How was the last year at the Braves for you?
Overall, it was decent, we had good results here and there but as a squad we have all said we need consistency and results. I think if we can put more focus and emphasis on results we will continue to grow and get stronger going forward.
Listen to Dom’s full re-signing interview over on BRAVES TV