An update from our Dunbar United U20's Manager Stuart Allan

It’s just over 2 weeks until Christmas, and we are just about at the half-way point in our maiden voyage in the SLDFL.

Since my last update, we’ve played 3 games. The first being against Edinburgh College, at Ainslie Park. We started reasonably well, but went behind from a penalty. We got back in the game from a super strike from Calum Richards. We were disappointed, as despite the College being down to 10 men for 30 minutes, we didn’t make the most of it. We created enough to win the game, but we didn’t keep the ball particularly well in the second half.

Our second game was Rosyth. We scored six and I would argue it’s the best we’ve been. I read somewhere, it was our two overage players that made the difference. But Calum Richards, Jasiu Zakrzewski & Connor Carmichael were outstanding. We were relentless and created a lot of chances. I want a particular mention for Jasiu Zakrzewski. Just over 12 months ago, this lad wasn’t playing football at all. On this night, Jasiu scored 2. He ran over 10.5K – absolutely delighted for him.

And finally, we had Whitburn last Friday night. 5-1 doesn’t look very good. On the face of it, we had 14 shots, they had 15. We had 8 corners, they had 7. Make no mistake, that’s not me stating we deserved to win the game, or necessarily even draw, but for 65 minutes we were excellent. Whitburn are a very good side. But we created good chances and kept the ball well. Our learning so far this year, we are giving away too many clear goal scoring opportunities.

Since my last update, I’m delighted to say that Leo Harrison has elected to join us. Leo has great pedigree, joining us from Preston Athletic U20’s. Leo has already scored 6 goals this season. He even represented the Scottish School Boys in Wales earlier this year. Leo is only 17 and I have seen him play multiple times against my Colts teams over the year(s). Leo will be a great addition!

In the next couple of weeks, I expect to see Euan Corrie back at training. This is amazing news – he suffered a really bad ankle injury without contact in training. As I write this, we are still waiting for the results of a CT scan for Michael Seeley. He was taken off for a suspected concussion against Musselburgh Athletic. Jake Douther returned to training last week and trained fully last night, I hope we might see him in the squad next week. But we will need to assess closer to the 16th.

Our two long term injuries, Eldon Woods and Morgan Laird, we do not have a date for a return yet. I’m pleased to say Eldon has been training for a few weeks, but he’s still getting pain from his shoulder which is an issue. Morgan hasn’t trained yet this year. Neither have featured competitively this season, albeit, Eldon did in pre-season.

Tomorrow, it’s an East Lothian derby. Last time we faced Haddington, it was the first game of the season. We lost 7-1 and we didn’t do ourselves justice. Clearly, we’ve had additions and we’ve learnt so much in 4 months. But on tomorrow, we need to show that progress on the park. It would mean a lot to see some Seasiders supporting us at Whittingehame Drive tomorrow night.

I must touch upon the club’s Christmas raffle! The club have been incredibly generous, putting all proceeds towards the running of the young Seasiders.  A massive thank-you to everyone that has purchased tickets so far, it’s greatly appreciated. If you wish to support the club, the young Seasiders and be in the running for some amazing prizes, you can buy tickets from the link below:

I’m so grateful to everyone who continues to get behind this project. This is a young squad, in their first year playing at a much higher level of football. I’m really happy with the progress my group has made in the last 4 months. Both sides have got some really tough fixtures leading up to Christmas, but we know what to expect against these teams. 

Take care,

Stuart Allan