An update from our Manager

Let me start this update by wishing all DUFC supporters a very Happy New Year and I hope 2023 brings health and happiness to you and your family. 

Before I start rambling on about football,  I would also like to congratulate Johnny Edmond and his partner Lisa on the birth of their little girl Fern this week. You’ll have noticed that Johnny has been involved with the squad and made the sub bench recently following a lengthy injury which will need an operation to tidy up his knee. Until the operation Johnny will play a massive part in us trying to reach the targets set out at the start of the season. 

I am also delighted that both Michael McFarlane and Fraser Neave have committed at least one more season to the club this week which takes the total signed players to 16 for season 23/24 and proves the environment our board, volunteers and my coaches provide for the players is a good one. I don’t think many clubs will have this level of player commitment in the first week of January. 

On the 30th of December we welcomed local rivals Preston Athletic to NCP. On the night we were hampered by injuries, holidays, illness and suspension but put on a comfortable performance which in my opinion should have been won by a larger score line. I felt it was more comfortable than the score suggested and the fact that Preston’s Goalkeeper Robbie Stirling was awarded a Player of the Match award. He made three outstanding saves in the last 20 mins denying additional goals to young Gregor Goldie’s already impressive numbers this season. 

A journey to the central belt yesterday to take on a good Dunipace side whose season has been slightly derailed by a good Scottish Cup run this season was our first match of 2023. Our squad looked a lot healthier and as strong as it’s been in a while. Two good goals from Bob Berry and Liam Gregory were enough to take maximum points and an outstanding save from Shea Dowie in the last minute means that he has come in and collected 2 clean sheets in Sean Brennan’s absence.

I’m delighted for Shea as he’s been very patient for an opportunity,  and the fact that Sean Brennan has been outstanding this season so far has made life difficult for Shea. Competition drive’s performance and that is evident with this squad. To keep the starting jersey you must perform well or someone is waiting to take their opportunity. 

Lastly, I’m really looking forward to next week’s Q&A session with the newly formed Black and White Club. This is a great initiative set up by the club to generate a continuous income for the club throughout a season and reward the members with a better value for money experience than buying a season ticket.

The other benefits to becoming a member go beyond entry to all home matches but voting rights, entry to official club functions and much more. The more club members we can generate now, the better long term future the club has aided by our amazing DUFC supporters. 

As always I look forward to seeing you all at New Countess Park this coming Saturday when we take on Kennoway Star Hearts in league match #17.

All the best 

Kevin Haynes