We bumped into Dan Kemp’s dad a few weeks ago at the Tranmere match and got talking to him about how Dan was settling in, his thoughts on the club, town and more. One thing led to another and before you know it, here we are with an exclusive Q&A with Dan himself, who has become a real fan favourite!
We really appreciate his time and hope you enjoy the answers.
HUST: Hi Dan. We chatted to your dad at Tranmere, who is obviously very proud, so we guess your family were important in your career?
Dan: I’m very close with all of my immediate family and they all play a part in my football career. My Dad and Grandad travel home and away to most games, whilst my mum, sister and two nans are always there to support me and offer words of comfort or inspiration. My girlfriend too has been amazing and has attended as many games as the travelling distance has allowed.
HUST: Have you enjoyed the Pools support for you home and away?
Dan: The Poolie fans, both home and away, have been magnificent since I arrived. Nothing but positive and cheering me and the team on until the final whistle. They are certainly a credit to the club from what I’ve witnessed.
HUST: How did you start in football?
Dan: I started to play for a local side in Kent when I was 6 years old and was fortunate enough to be scouted by a few professional clubs soon after. I committed to signing for Chelsea and represented their academy for 10years (6-16 years old).
HUST: When did you hear about the approach from Pools and what made you decide to come here?
Dan: The approach from Hartlepool came towards the end of the January transfer window. The decision to sign was simple as it was a great opportunity to play the last 17 games of the season, as well as attempt to play a major part in steering the club to EFL league 2 safety.
HUST: How have you settled in here?
Dan: The players and the staff have been great with me since I arrived and have helped me settle in well. I am staying at a hotel and again, the staff there have been brilliant.
HUST: Have you had chance to explore the area?
Dan: Not too much unfortunately as it’s been a full on schedule since I arrived. Managed to go to Newcastle a couple of times but that’s about it.
HUST: What’s your favourite moment here so far?
Dan: My favourite moment so far has got to be my two goals at AFC Wimbledon! It was an amazing feeling to score that equaliser at the end and I was able to run and celebrate in front of the away fans! Also, many of my family were at the game that day so it was extremely special.
HUST: Back to the team, who have you found the leaders in the squad?
Dan: We have a good few leaders in the squad at the moment, Nicky featherstone our captain leads by example, but also Matt Dolan, David Ferguson and Peter Hartley. They have massive experience in the game and are big leaders in the group.
HUST: Can you tell us how the new manager has changed things?
Dan: The new gaffer has been really good since he has come in, he has brought a real structure and identity to the way we play and all the lads have really bought into it! He plays really attacking football, which suits me down to the ground as I have really enjoyed working with him.
HUST: Lastly, away from football, how do you spend your time?
Dan: Away from football I spend a lot of time with my girlfriend, we like to try new things and go out to new places to eat and try new activities. I am a massive family person so I like to catch up with my family as much as possible also and spend some quality time together.
HUST: Thanks for your time, Dan and good luck for the rest of the season!
Photos: Scott Llewelyn and Federico Guerra Maranesi