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

It’s been nearly 3 weeks since my last update and we’ve had a mixed bag of results. We’ve had our first competitive win, a postponement, and a heavy defeat on Friday evening. In the league, we’ve played the only three teams with 100% records remaining. 3 out of the 4 league games have been against teams who are beginning to move towards the top half of the league. 

We’ve had one confirmed departure, Daniel Collin, as he moves back to Dundee for University. We are now training Monday & Wednesday which has unfortunately changed things for him. When merging the 17’s and 18’s, we originally had two recognised centre halfs able to commit to playing, Alastair Zochowski and Michael Seeley. Thankfully we found Euan Corrie which means we are in a decent position. Dan will be a big miss and was a great influence. I would like to wish him well with his football but with his studies as well. 

In terms of football, against Pumpherston we scored a great goal to go 1-0 up, but we actually stopped playing. We were 2-1 down with 30 minutes to play but managed to stay in the game. A goal of the season contender got us level at 2-2. Then our goal to go ahead was a superb moment and fantastic goal. We came back from 2-1 down and probably weren’t at our best, that’s really pleasing. Alby Lorimer scored the winning penalty, a few weeks before he recently turned 16. 

Last Friday night, we started the game well. Gregor Goldie went close, Jack Clark was unlucky with a header at 0-0. But after going 1-0 down, it was a lesson as to what happens when you don’t defend with aggression or intensity. We played against the majority 18 and 19 year old guys who have experience at this level. We showed the difference in the second half where for 43 minutes, we had conceded 1 in that time and looked so much better. It’s a harsh lesson, but an excellent learning experience. 

The gauge of success at this level isn’t simply winning games of football. Players are at different stages of their development. Clearly, that could be technically or tactically, many are at different stages of their own maturation which influences their performance massively. We’ve got lads who are 16 and some at 18, but all are at different stages of their development as footballers and young men. 

Lads will make mistakes at this level, but it’s all about learning. If you look at the age of our squad, these age groups have been selected for a reason. Everyone has got 2 if not 3 seasons at this level. Last year these players weren’t tested in fixtures to the same extent, this is the next part of their development. Someone who is 16, may react better to making a mistake than someone who is two years older at 18 or 19. These are more frequent lessons now, but we are really pleased as to what we are seeing. 

Again, I would like to thank everyone who is continuing to buy into the project. We had over 100 people watch our first ever win at New Countess Park. Our group stuck together that night and it’s an evening that members of our group will remember for a long time. I’m really grateful to everyone who continues to get behind the group. 

Stuart Allan