EDINBURGH UNITED, the Capital’s only Junior outfit, have made a stunning start to the season following Johnny Harvey’s Paties Road revolution.
United have struggled badly in the South League in recent times, but they have made a perfect start to the season – notching four wins from their first four games, all away from home. Their resurgence faces a stern test tomorrow, however, as they host Dundonald Bluebell, who sit top of the division courtesy of having played a game more.
There’s no doubt Harvey’s arrival in the summer has been key in United’s turnaround, with his impressive revamp of the squad including bringing in the likes of Dalkeith top scorer Michael Fairney and Musselburgh’s Chris Gordon.
However, former Tranent boss Harvey is keen to stress that their change in fortunes is not all down to him. “Edinburgh United isn’t just me,” said Harvey. “Everybody has seen there’s a freshness about the place. From the committee, the players and the supporters, there’s been a huge difference in what we’re about.
“The people behind the scenes are the people who have changed things at the club. There’s a great feeling at the club now and the focus is 100 per cent with everything we’re doing. We had a huge start to the season with four away games, but the players have been terrific in winning the four of them. There’s a rise in expectations now at the club and the players are responding to it.
“No one is getting carried away, though, because we’ve all been through the bad times before and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen here. It’s unfair of me to pick anyone out but our captain Craig Hume has been super for us. He leads by example. But all the players are 100 per cent focused, even those on the bench. It’s hard to keep everybody happy, but those not picked are just as focused as those on the field.
“Everyone at the club is pulling in the same direction and we feel if we can keep doing that, then we have a chance to have a really good season.”
Dundonald are many people’s favourites to win the South League, and Harvey admits tomorrow’s clash will give him an indication as to whether his team is ready to challenge.
“I have heard that Dundonald are favourites for the league and I’ve tried to find out something about them but it’s been tough,” admitted Harvey. “I know a couple of their players from when I played in the Super League, players like Lee Duffy. They are top of the table and unbeaten like ourselves so they will be a good side. It’ll be a tough test for us but to be the best you have to beat the best and, after tomorrow’s game, we’ll know if we have what it takes to win titles.”
Elsewhere in the South League, Haddington, who have come so close to promotion in previous seasons, will be looking to maintain their strong start when they host West Calder. Whitburn, who have also started well, visit Lochgelly, while Tranent are also in Fife to face Steelend Vics.