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

Since my last update, we have played 3 competitive fixtures, winning all 3. We remain unbeaten in 2023, having only lost once in our last 8 competitive games. It’s been over 4 weeks since my last update, a lot has happened, please bear with me! 

We ended January by playing a Monday night friendly against Portobello CFA U17’s. We were beaten that night and we were really poor. I wouldn’t normally mention a friendly, but it was extremely valuable for us. We got minutes in the legs for all the boys, but it was more than just that. Portobello were impressive, deserved to win, but it gave us a stark reminder of the levels we need to be at, every time we play. The standards and levels required at this level are really high. But what I love about my group, I got a reaction on the Friday night. 

It was then a trip to Fauldhouse United on Friday. I have watched that game back 2 or 3 times now, I really enjoyed watching us that night. We played on the front foot, we looked comfortable in possession and we looked really dangerous every time we went forward. We ended up scoring 5 goals and kept a clean sheet, things don’t get much better than that. I was delighted that Leo Harrison scored his first goal(s), Jasiu Zakrzewski, Daniel Hall & David McIntyre were all outstanding that night. 

Next up, we played Armadale Thistle in the cup. It was a proper cup tie. First half we were okay, but opted to change shape at half time. For the first 25 minutes of the second half, we were top class and probably should have scored 2 or 3 more. For the remainder of the second half, it was all Armadale and we were hanging on. Then, up stepped Adam Collin to score an injury time winner. Daniel Hall, Leo Harrison, Calum Richards, Brandon Dean & Adam Collin all poured forward, in 90+3. The celebrations upon scoring the winner shows what a tight nit group we have. 

Most recently, we faced Hill of Beath Hawthorn. Last time we played HOB, we lost 8-0 in Fife. It was by far the hardest lesson we’ve had this season. Winning 4-2 not only shows progression, it shows we can compete (and beat), anyone in this league. On Friday, we were magnificent. Our shape looked great, we defended the box brilliantly and probably our biggest area of improvement since the start of the season, we had control of the game. Results like that don’t happen by chance, the lads deserve that success. Special mention to Euan Corrie, it was his first 90 minutes since his ankle injury in training, back in October.

Next, I would like to say a massive thank-you to Gary Fairbairn & Kern Gallagher for the sponsorship of our new training jumpers, on behalf of Blueprint Dunbar. Both are top guys who have been really supportive of this project. Our boys are well looked after, but it comes at a cost. Without people/individuals like Gary & Kern (and so many others), we wouldn’t be in the position we are.

Since my last update, we have raised an incredible further £790 towards our new strips. In total, we have raised £1,670. There have been 54 donations to get us here. This total has now enabled us to purchase new home & away strips for next season. Again, all of us are really excited by it. Thank you so much for the support and the incredible generosity to get us here. 

Tonight we face Leith Athletic at New Countess Park (weather permitting!). As a manager, there is nothing better than your team playing well, full of confidence with a full squad available. Every game at this level is tricky, Friday is no different, but I’m really looking forward to seeing us again. We are unbeaten competitively in 2023 and in our best form of the season so far. Please come along to NCP and get behind the lads on Friday. It’s a big night for us, the lads are all looking forward to it. 

The boys are flying at the minute, but they absolutely deserve to be. All of our squad, that includes my coaches, have worked their socks off. I’m delighted we are seeing the progress they all deserve. We certainly aren’t the finished article, but we are on a great trajectory. We have 9 league games remaining, our ambition is to finish as high as we possibly can in our first season. 

Thank you for your continuous fantastic support – we all greatly appreciate it.

All the best 

Stuart Allan