Sean Graham

Many will remember Danny Cadamarteri as the fresh faced kid who – as a product of the Everton Academy – made his breakthrough at the very same club and scored in a Merseyside derby against rivals Liverpool at the young age of 18. Big things were expected of the young Yorkshireman, but he never quite fulfilled his potential at the Toffees.

Two and a half years after his debut at Goodison Park, the young striker firstly went on loan to Fulham and then on to various clubs up and down the country before trying his luck in Scotland.

In Dundee United Cadamarteri has finally found a club that is going places. He now has a cup final to look forward to and the prospect of European football on the horizon –  but then he knew that he had been promised these kind of things if he joined United, as he tells Inside Futbol’s Sean Graham:
Danny Cadamarteri (DC): This was one of the prime reasons. I spoke with [former Dundee United manager] Craig Levein and had a great chat with him about coming up to Scotland. He sold me the dream of challenging at the top end of the table and getting to cup finals – and this dream is becoming more of a reality as the season progresses.

Sean Graham (SG): Were you surprised at the result and performance by Ross County against Celtic in the semi-final?
DC: If I hadn’t seen the game I would have been very surprised, but having witnessed it Ross County very much deserved to go through. They acquitted themselves very well, played really well and have definitely given us food for thought in the final.

SG: Will you be showing Ross County every respect in the final as you did Raith Rovers in the semi-final?
DC: Without a shadow of a doubt. We went out against Raith and we saw them play a couple of times. We also had a couple of players who went on loan there so that provided us with some additional inside information. The boys who have been there on loan said that they are good and physical players and if you give them the opportunity they will get the ball down and pass, move and drag us about. That’s exactly what they did in the first part of the match: They had us on the ropes and it started off a very difficult game. We were fortunate to weather the storm and come out on top.

SG: What about life in Scotland, are you enjoying it so far?
DC: Yeah, I’ve loved it. I am loving living over in Fife, which is a lovely part of the world, and it is going to make it a lot easier when you are at a club that is doing so well and that has a young bunch of lads who want to progress. This has made it easy for myself and the other new guys to fit in early doors.

SG: Looking back on your career so far, how would you sum it up?   
DC: I look back and I have had many opportunities in my life and in my career. Obviously I am 30 years of age now and I see some of the young players here getting opportunities to play in cup finals – things l didn’t have the opportunity to do until now. It’s great to be around the place with the enthusiastic young players and the amount of talent that we have got. It’s a nice place to be and a good position to be in.

SG: Do you regret not fulfilling your potential at Everton?
DC: Maybe! I can look back now and say that I had regrets about this and that. But if I thought about it too much I would never be moving on and look to the future! These times are in the past for me now. I am at Dundee United, in a great position in the league with a squad and a team of players that are hopefully going to give me and themselves an opportunity to win a cup final and to try and get into Europe. I am looking to the future and not into the past, but if I can help any of the young players and try and keep them on the straight and narrow then that is an added bonus as well.

SG: Massive progress has been made under firstly Craig Levein, who now coaches the Scottish national team, and then current Dundee United manager Peter Houston. Can you believe you have a cup final and maybe Europe in sight?
DC: Yes, I think so. Getting to the final is a massive achievement. A lot of people possibly wrote us off when the draw came out against Rangers after the thumping we had against them earlier in the season. I think people looked at that draw and said that Rangers would be there in the final and Celtic would join them. The players have done fantastically well to come back and get a draw in the first match and then to win at home. That was very special. We have now created an opportunity for the club to progress and win a cup as well as to try to play European football.

SG: When Peter Houston was appointed the new manager, the change must have been a shock to the system at first?
DC: Yes, it was. A lot of players were brought in by Craig Levein and he was such an influential figure, not just on the football pitch, but also in a lot of these players’ lives. So they were a bit shell-shocked, but the best thing that Housty has done is to keep a level of normality. He has known Craig Levein for a number of years and he knows how he thinks. He has kept the same sort of normality around the team and has not shaken the ship at all, so it has been a nice transition.

SG: Before moving to Scotland, did you get a chance to speak to former Everton team-mates Francis Jeffers or Michael Ball,  who both enjoyed stints at Rangers? 
I didn’t actually! Up until interest was shown in me from Scotland I was happy in Yorkshire plying my trade in England and staying down there. When Craig Levein sold me his dream, it was just a case of speaking to people who had worked for him to get references. He came out with flying colours and seemed like he was the sort of manager that could help me in my career. All the vibes came out that he could take United places, but now after he’s left it’s Peter Houston’s turn and it looks like he will achieve big things. Myself and the lads have every bit of confidence in him.


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