Signing number three is in through the door as Yeovil Town announce the signing of former Bradford City defender, Finn Cousin-Dawson. The 21 year-old has signed a contract keeping him at Huish Park until 2026. The former Northern Ireland U21, spent last season on loan at Blyth Spartans, where he became one of the best young defenders in the National League North.

In this article I will be doing a detailed analysis on Finn Cousin-Dawson. The article will include:

  • Player Profile
  • Previous History
  • Key Strengths
  • Areas To Improve
  • Key Stats – 23/24
  • How he suits the “Mark Cooper System”
  • Conclusion

Enjoy the read! Any feedback would be massively appreciated as I continue to analyse every signing the Glovers’ make this summer. I would also be interested in hearing your opinion on the signing of Finn Cousin-Dawson and how the summer has gone so far?


Player Profile

Name: Finn Cousin-Dawson

Position: Defender (Centre Back or Right Back)

Age: 21 (4/7/02)

Height: 6ft (183cm)

Strong Foot: Right

Previous Club: Bradford City – Blyth Spartans (Loan)

23/24 Season Stats: 4237 Minutes – 43 Games – 3 Goals

Finn Cousin-Dawson

Previous History

2019 – Signs his first professional contract at Bradford City.

2019-2020  Brighouse Town (Loan) 7 Games – 0 Goals

2021-2022 – Makes 7 appearances for Northern Ireland U21s.

2022-2023 – Spennymoor Town (Loan) 21 Games – 0 Goals

2023 – Blyth Spartans (Loan) 15 Games 0 Goals

2023-2024 – Blyth Spartans (Loan) 44 Games 3 Goals

2024 – Released by Bradford City after making 34 appearances for the Bantams, scoring no goals.

Finn Cousin-Dawson

Key Strengths

Exciting Talent – Similar to the signing of Harvey Greenslade, Cousin-Dawson is coming in with a real view into the future for this Yeovil side, potentially staying around for a few seasons and then making a good amount of profit in the future. He was playing for Northern Ireland Under 21s at 18-19 years-old.

Senior Experience – The National League is one of the toughest leagues in the country so having experience in senior football is vital for a young player. Despite being just 21, Finn Cousin-Dawson has played over 100 games in senior football, from playing for Bradford in League Two, to Blyth Spartans in the National League North.

Football League Minutes – To have played 34 games in League Two at such a young age shows that he must be a very exciting talent. When playing for Bradford in League Two, he didn’t exactly disappoint either. I doubt they will be his last minutes in the Football League.

Versatility – As we found out, at the end of last season, having a big squad or having players available to us, who can play in multiple positions, is absolutely vital when we get towards the business end. As well as being brilliant at centre back, Cousin-Dawson is comfortable at right back. He can also do a job in a defensive midfield position because of his athleticism and quality in the ball.

Strong Defender -You will hear a lot about Cousin-Dawson’s quality on the ball but don’t let that take away from him defensively. For his age, he is very powerful into challenges and reads the game very well. Him being in a poor side, like Blyth, who were relegated from the National League North, did him no favours. He was still one of the best defenders at the level despite problems around him. This is shown from the chat below, created by Ben Pearson.

NLN centre backs

Excellent Passing Range – There is no doubt that the most exciting part of Finn Cousin-Dawson’s game is his quality on the ball. From this chart below, also by Ben Pearson, we can see that he is always willing to create chances with his progressive passes. He made the 4th most completed passes in the whole of the National League North last season, for a side who got relegated, this is very impressive.

NLN Centre Backs

Composure – His composure is top quality which allows us to build out from the back really well and punish teams who press really high. When he gets the ball with pressure on him he isn’t going to hit it long every time, he will take risks to keep the game ticking and create space for us to play. This suits Mark Cooper perfectly.


Areas To Improve

Location – The two previous signings have both come from local clubs, Torquay and Bristol Rovers, so the time to settle in and get used to the area was a lot less. Coming from Bradford, Finn Cousin-Dawson has never played his football down, in the South West so it may take some time to get used to the area.

National League Experience -Despite having over 100 senior appearances under his belt, at just 21 years-old, none of these have come in the National League Premier. He will have to understand the fairly quickly so he can get up to the correct pace of the game to show us what he can do.

Leadership – This one is fairly expected for a young lad like Cousin-Dawson and doesn’t really matter when you have leaders like Morgan Williams, Jake Wannell and Michael Smith around him but it’s always nice to have the trait which should be able to get trained into him by the leaders of the group.


Key Stats – 23/24

Stats produced by FevsFootball

General Passing:

  • Passes Per 90 – 50.2
  • Passing Accuracy – 83%
  • Long Passes Per 90 – 8.7
  • Long Passing Accuracy – 48%
  • Progressive Passes Per 90 – 12.2
  • Progressive Passing Accuracy – 65%
  • Passes to Final Third Per 90 – 6.4
  • Passing to Final Third Accuracy – 55%

Duels:

  • Defensive Duels Per 90 – 5.5
  • Defensive Duels Won – 74%
  • Offensive Duels Per 90 – 1.9
  • Offensive Duels Won -49%
  • Ariel Duels Per 90 – 5.8
  • Ariel Duels Won – 61%
  • Loose Ball Duels Per 90 – 3.7
  • Loose Ball Duels Won – 62%

Defensive Actions:

  • Shots Blocked Per 90 – 0.5
  • Interceptions Per 90 – 4.5
  • Sliding Tackles Per 90 – 0.3
  • Fouls Per 90 – 0.7

How will he fit in?

In the post above, I have planned out what I believe the current squad looks like, where players will be positioned etc. It is important to remember that we still have the brilliant defensive partnership of Morgan Williams and Jake Wannell so Finn Cousin-Dawson has to impress to get into the team. It leaves us with three top quality defenders to work with next season meaning we have brilliant cover in case of a suspension or injury.

If Finn Cousin-Dawson does play, he will most likely be introduced as a right side central defender in a back 4, alongside Jake Wannell to give a good balance of having one right footer and one left footer.

It is important to note that the 21 year-old can also play right back, if needed, which gives us another option in that position, just in case of any injury to Michael Smith. I think it’s fair to say he will be most regularly used as a right side centre back, as shown below.

People may not be the biggest fan of 3/5 at the back however, for the sake of the analysis it has to be mentioned. The signing of Cousin-Dawson means that we have 3 brilliant central defenders in the building, leaving one out will be a tough task for Cooper.

This signing could potentially mean that we lean towards a back 3 at times this season, with Williams as the central defender, having Wannell and Cousin-Dawson either side. With his quality on the ball and ability to get forward, Finn Cousin-Dawson would massively suit a 3 at the back system which allows us to have all of the control in the game and dominate the ball.

As shown below, the 3 at the back system could look something like this:

Despite having this option, I think the main formation we will use next season will be a 4 at the back however, it is always good to have another option and be versatile with formations. If we are in a position where we need to see out a game, this would be a brilliant way to do this, whilst keeping hold of possession and dominating the ball.


Conclusion

As of writing this, on Thursday morning, this is probably our best signing to date. He gives us a fantastic option at the back, as cover to Morgan Williams and Michael Smith. Recruiting versatile options is a massive help, come the end of the season, when dealing with lots of injuries. I think Cousin-Dawson will find it tough to be a starter right away but he will certainly make an impact when called upon.

He suits the way Mark Cooper wants to play perfectly because of his quality on the ball and his way to build from the back. With the amount of progressive passes he makes per game, it shows that he is more than just a “pass sideways” player. He has the ability to pick out a long pass or a driven pass through the lines into the striker feet.

The age profile of this signing and the other ones made, so far, really excites me, as it shows we are building a strong side for the future, which allows Cooper to develop the side to suit his style.

What are your thoughts on the signing?


As I have previously stated, any feedback or comments are massively appreciated and taken on board. I hope you enjoyed the read, thankyou!


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Mick
1 month ago

More great work from Callum. I think that I have just heard that we have signed another defender? So unless Cousin-Dawson can play in a defensive midfield position then I assume Cooper is going to play 6 at the back 🤔🤔