Dimaio Makes His Return After Betting Ban

Boston United midfielder Connor Dimaio has made his return after a gambling ban. He came on as a substitute in the National League North’s game against Brackley Town on Tuesday.

The game was his first since September 21, when Boston beat Guiseley 2-1. Dimaio received a six-week ban and a £500 fine after a FA probe uncovered the fact that he’d made 29 bets on football games. Players in the first eight-tiers of English football are banned from placing bets on games.

The midfielder admitted that it was “my mistake” and now wants to put that behind him. “It’s in the past. Hopefully now I can get on with it and kick on.” The 25-year-old placed the 29 bets between August 2014 and May 2016. During that time, he played for both Sheffield United and Chesterfield.

His bets didn’t go well as he made a £308.07 loss. Of the 29 bets that he placed, three were on games in competitions in which his clubs also took part. While a Sheffield United player, he did place a bet on them to win a league fixture. He didn’t take any part in that match and the bet was an in-play one.

When the FA interviewed him about the bets, Dimaio said that he couldn’t remember placing them as “it was so long ago.” He was a teenager when some of the bets were placed. Talking about them he said: “When you’re a young lad, everyone else is doing it. I did it and was punished, but I have to crack on now.”

His time away from the game wasn’t easy and affected his mental wellbeing. “I’ve been scratching my feet at home, ready to get back,” he said. “It’s been tough. I’ve been sat at home waiting for results,” added Dimaio.

Boston United are currently seventh in the National League North. The former league club are in the final promotion play-off spot, two points clear of York City. They made need their midfielder back though as the last two league games have both been lost.

Speaking about his return to action, he said: “It’s put a smile back on my face, as long as I’m playing football I’m alright. The main aim is to play as many games as I can. I’m always fit and ready to go.”

United are next in action on January 2. They host Alfreton Town who are four points behind them in 11th place. Alfreton have lost three of their last five league games and three of the last four on the road.