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Danny Allsopp: At beginning of Hull City revolution

It was a bittersweet A-League grand final for Melbourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp, a second championship winner's medal - but also a controversial red card. So far Allsopp's career has taken him from Croydon to South Melbourne, Manchester City to Notts County and Hull City to Melbourne Victory - a fantastic journey with a story to tell.

The 30-year old has managed to represent his country at four different levels, win goal scoring awards and enjoy team success in his 14 year career.

Ahead of this weekend's A-League grand final against bitter rivals Adelaide United, tribalfootball.com caught up with Danny to reflect on his time in England, his selection for the Australian team and his career with his beloved Melbourne Victory.

Allsopp played with newly promoted English Premier League outfit Hull City when they were in League Two in 2003/04 and was a part of the squad that gained promotion to League One and then to the Championship by 2005.

Did you ever think KC (Kingston Communications) Stadium would be hosting Premiership games?

"Yes, I was pretty confident it would, just not so soon I guess.

"When I was at the club it was definitely moving in the right direction. It has been a huge achievement and hopefully they stay up there."

What were your feelings when Hull City won promotion last season?

"I watched the playoff final and it was great. I was pretty excited about it!".

Tell us a little about guys like Ian Ashbee, Boaz Myhill and Ryan France ... did you think they were Premiership players when you were playing with them?

"Ian Ashbee is a great leader for the club and has recovered from a terrible injury just a couple of seasons ago which nearly ended his career. He has led the team all the way there and he thoroughly deserves his time in the Prem.

"Both Boaz and Ryan really got there break while I was there and have both done really well obviously. All three are great down to earth guys and along with Andy Dawson, are the main interest for me when I watch them."

Do you take pride in being part of the start of Hull's climb to the Premiership? Are you still in touch with some of your ex-teammates and people at Hull?

"I guess I played a small part but I just really enjoyed my time there. We just had a friend staying with us from Hull, I am in touch with some players from time to time and quite regularly get Hull City supporters watching an A-League game while visiting Australia."

Tell us a little about (former Hull coach) Peter Taylor - how much of an influence was he on you?

"Peter Taylor was a good manager. I enjoyed working for him. He'll probably be pleased to know if he somehow reads this that I've matured a bit since then!"

Tell us a little about Hull City's fans - you were drawing big crowds in League One and Two.

"Yes, we averaged over twenty thousand, that was one of the reasons that persuaded me to join in the first place - a sleeping giant of a club heading in the right direction that has a great new stadium and fanatical support. The fans were good to me too."

What about Maine Road? Can you believe the changes at Manchester City? Are you still in touch with anyone at the club?

"Maine Road was a fantastic stadium. I'm very lucky to have played there. The club is unrecognisable from the days I was there. I see Les Chapman the kit man is still there on TV but he's probably the only one. A lot of people probably don't realise how big that club is. Their long suffering fans are due some success."

How did it feel being selected for the Socceroos again late last month?

"It was very pleasing. I got to start the match as well and I wanted to score as I haven't done that yet but hopefully I'll get another chance."

Can you share your other experiences playing for the national team? How does starting against Indonesia compare with your substitutions against Uruguay and Ghana?

"I really enjoyed the substitute appearances as it was with the strongest available squad at the time and I was just buzzing to get on, though I was still really tired against Ghana from a full 90 mins, 48 hours earlier in the ACL (Asian Champions League).

" Though getting a chance from the Asian Champions League to really try and do something for your country is fantastic."

What's the feeling in regards to the upcoming Grand Final with the Victory; personally and for the team?

"I'm looking forward to the Grand Final. It's good to have one under the belt and that experience will hopefully help.

"All the boys are buzzing and have been throughout the finals so hopefully we play well enough to win it though it will obviously tough as Adelaide will be desperate to win it as well."

Are you looking to moving to the new stadium at the end of this year? Do you think it will benefit both the Victory and football in Melbourne to have your own home?

"Everyone at the club is.

"Every time we pass it on the walk to training the players comment about wanting to play there.

"It will be the best stadium in Melbourne for atmosphere and viewing. I find it quite funny that they are calling it Melbourne Rectangular Stadium at the moment, like all stadiums are supposed to be circular!

"It will be great for people to watch football in a proper football stadium. It is a huge step here, especially as Melbourne is such a competitive sports market it's a massive achievement."

What are your plans for the future? Do you think you will end your career with Melbourne?

"It would be great to play out my career here but I think I've still got a while left in me so I'm not thinking too far ahead. I've got another season on my contract and then I'll see what happens as always."

Andrew Slevison
About the author

Andrew Slevison

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