"I did it and was punished, but I have to crack on now." Boston United's Connor Dimaio looking to put smile back on his face after returning from gambling ban

Pilgrims midfielder back in action for first time since September

Connor Dimaio in action at Bradford Park Avenue. Photo: Oliver Atkin
Connor Dimaio in action at Bradford Park Avenue. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Connor Dimaio wants to put his ban behind him and get the smile back on his face.

The Boston United midfielder came off the bench during Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Brackley Town - his first appearance since September's 2-1 win over Guiseley.

For the past six weeks the ex-Chesterfield and Stockport County man has been serving a ban for gambling, discovered to have made 29 historic bets during an FA probe into player betting.

"It's my mistake," Dimaio said.

"It's in the past. Hopefully now I can get on with it and kick on."

The 25-year-old - who was also fined £500 - suffered a net loss of £308.07 placing 29 bets between August 2014 and May 2016, whilst a Sheffield United and Chesterfield player.

Three of those bets were placed on games in competitions in which his clubs participated and one bet was on his own side (Sheffield United) to win a league match, made in play.

He did not feature in any of the games he placed bets on.

"I couldn't even remember it. It was (up to) seven years ago," Dimaio confessed.

"When I was being interviewed (as part of the FA investigation) I couldn't even say whether I'd done this or that. It was so long ago.

"When you're a young lad, everyone else is doing it. I did it and was punished, but I have to crack on now."

The ban from all football activity took its toll on the midfielder, indeed the FA summary declared the investigation had made an impact on the player's 'mental wellbeing'.

"I've been scratching my feet at home, ready to get back," Dimaio continued.

"I think I've nearly split up with the missus about 500 times, I've been doing her head in. I'm glad to be back.

"It's been tough. I've been sat at home waiting for results.

"The boys had been doing well so I was just waiting for the YouTube stuff to come on and watch the games back as much as I could."

After returning to the pitch this week, Dimaio is ready to put those frustrations behind him and enjoy his football once again.

"It's put a smile back on my face, as long as I'm playing football I'm alright," he said.

"The main aim is to play as many games as I can. I'm always fit and ready to go."

Boston's Andi Thanoj is currently serving a five-month ban for gambling while teammate Jay Rollins served a one-month ban earlier this season.

Footballers in the top eight tiers of the English game are banned from placing bets.

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