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

It’s been nearly four weeks since my last update. For that reason, this update will be a lot longer than normal. I make no apologies for that however, as the last four weeks have been simply brilliant. Equally, we’ve had some movement, a further player in the door and two hopefully returning from injury. 

We played West Calder on the 23rd of Sept, winning 4-0. That night we were top class. We dominated the ball, but didn’t just keep possession for the sake of it, we created a lot of chances. Brandon opened the scoring on 52 minutes and we went on to score 3 more super goals. It was our first league win of the season – the boys deserved that. 

The following week, we hosted Stirling Albion in the appropriately named Challenge Cup, on the 30th of Oct. We were magnificent that night. Clearly you can pick apart the goals you concede, but it just didn’t go for us. Gregor hit the post twice, their keeper has pulled off two unbelievable saves. In the game, Declan didn’t have a huge amount to do. Whilst a defeat, this gave the group the confidence (which they should have), that they can go and compete. I didn’t think the performance merited losing 3-2. 

Next up was Leith on the 7th of Oct. I expect this one surprised a few, our performance was great. We went 2 nil up and Leith got one back, we then stopped playing. Leith were actually unlucky not to be level at halftime. Second half we came out and scored five. This is what we like about our group. When you give them information, they take it on board and listen. We scored some super goals and won the game 7-2. 

The very next day, the first team hosted Lochore Welfare. I said this to Kevin, Smally & Dunny, but that Saturday will forever remain my favourite memory in football. Gregor Goldie came off the bench with 30 minutes to go and scored the winner. These are memories that will remain with him for the rest of his life. That very evening, he was then awarded the U17’s POTY, for the season previous. 

I first saw Gregor play when he was 12 years old. It was at Dalkeith High School, playing for Dunbar Colts, against Lasswade Thistle Reds in a quarter final of a league cup. He played in midfield that day, the team won 3-1 and we actually went on to win that cup at U13’s against Longniddry. This is a great example of why the pathway is here – Gregor has played at the Colts all his days. 

Whilst this pathway was only formally being organised last year, like many in his age group, Gregor chose to play with his school friends. Often there is a perception Edinburgh is the only option for player development, but with this pathway now in place – nothing is stopping local players coming through. Gregor is a superb lad and deserves every success. 

Last week we hosted Penicuik. Now that was a game! 11 goals and some really good stuff played – but we won’t win games defending like we did at points. I sound like a broken record, but that’s the learning. But again, we were 2-0 down, got back to 3-2 up, then 4-3, the lads are competing. I know there were doubters, but we are already seeing benefits to this step up, it’s not just about league position. 

As I write this, we train tonight in preparation for our trip to play Arniston. We are all aware of the league table, but all teams at this level of football have got players that can hurt you – same goes for Friday. If we win, we can pick up our 3rd win in 4 games in the league. 

Our hosts will see us as a target having shipped 7 last week. We know where we can be better and know Friday will not be an easy fixture. Nothing will change in the way we prepare for Friday, it’s another 3 points we’ll need to work hard for. 

Team news wise – we’ve had a lot going on. Unfortunately on Monday night Euan Corrie suffered a serious ankle injury. It’s a hard one to see – I’m gutted for him. I’m hopeful we can see him back training before Christmas. Euan is one of the nicest lads you’ll meet and has settled in great. All of us would like to wish him a speedy recovery. 

I’m hopeful Brandon Dean will feature on Friday – he’s been out with an ankle injury which just hasn’t settled down since Stirling. I’m also very pleased to say Ruairidh Munro is back to full training this week and I expect he will be in the 18 for Friday. He did some straight line running last week. Again, Ru has missed the last 4 games essentially. 

Finally, I’m delighted to say we’ve had another player in the door! I’ve been trying to get this lad since June. I won’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet and will announce him properly but he’ll feature on Friday. It’s another player that is hugely exciting to watch, importantly, he’s just a really nice lad. His name would get you a superb scrabble score as well! 

Thank you for your ongoing support for the U20’s. 

Take care,

Stuart Allan