Dunbar United boss Geoff Jones is intent on securing promotion from the South Division this season and believes the club could hold their own in the Premier League.
The Seasiders have been marooned in the bottom tier of the East Region set-up for ten years since the leagues were reconstructed, while nearby clubs Haddington Athletic and Tranent Juniors enjoyed title success in recent seasons.
Now, with a potent mix of youth and experience which has served them well so far in an unbeaten start to the season – and a local community behind them – former club captain Jones is hopeful they can join their neighbours in the second tier.
He said: “At the moment it’s a really good place to be, but we’re not going to go through the season unbeaten – that’s just a fact. We’ve got a right good chance of getting out the league. Ever since the league was reconstructed we’ve been in the South Division and we’ve been finishing round about mid table. Last season we got up to fourth, but prior to that I think our highest position was sixth – it’s been a pretty barren period for the club.
“I said to the players this season that we need to be more ruthless and it’s not about progression, we need to actually do something. The goal this season is promotion, 100 per cent. I genuinely believe if we can get out this league, with the personnel we’ve got here, I don’t think we’d have to do a lot to stay in the Premier League.”
The club is thriving on and off the park, with a hard-working, tight committee having ensured Jones is able to supplement his squad with the right additions – players with Super League experience including Chris King, Scott Gibson and Darren Gillon.
More than 200 spectators watched Dunbar go through to the second round of the Scottish Junior Cup with a penalty shootout victory over Thornton Hibs last Saturday. The backing the club are receiving from the local community is helping to make a difference.
Jones added: “The community is really engaging with the club and our crowds are going up week by week. It’s really pleasing to see because that’s not always been the case at Dunbar.”