Community support crucial as Dunbar United aim to sign off season with First Division title
Promotion and an immediate return to the East of Scotland Premier Division is already banked, with recruitment well underway as manager Kevin Haynes looks to strengthen his squad for next season.
The Seasiders are in pole position at the top of the table with a one-point lead, and victory over Camelon tomorrow at a packed New Countess Park will ensure their first league title since their South Division triumph in 2017.
“We know we just need to win and not have to worry about results elsewhere, so it’s very simple. Our form isn’t great, so that’s concerning,” said Haynes. “We did a wee calculation, splitting up the season into three thirds and this is way and far above the worst third of the season in terms of picking up points.
“This isn’t just Dunbar, this is everybody; the holiday season has kicked in, the stag-do season has kicked in – all of that stuff comes into it and we are finding ourselves not being able to get the same team out week after week. At this stage of the season, there is suspensions when people are accumulating points. It isn’t just us, but we just seem like we don’t deal with it.
“At the end of the day 100-per-cent of the other teams would rather be where we are than where they are, so we have to take that. We could have been better, certainly in the last month to six weeks and we probably wouldn’t have been in this situation, it probably could have been done and dusted. Tieing it up sooner would have saved me picking up grey hair.”
With a 2-for-1 offer on match tickets, a bigger crowd than usual is expected. The support the club has had from the local community has been crucial for Haynes’ side, with fans even coming along to watch the players at training. There is a real bond forming on and off the pitch.
Haynes continued: “The support we have had since I came to the club has been magnificent. We had 500 at the Glenrothes game, so we are getting numbers through the gates – the support has been massive for us, and it does help. You go to some grounds where there are two men and a dog, and it can’t be enjoyable for players.
“We have a lot of younger supporters as well now who have kind of jumped on the bandwagon through the colts and the boys club, there is kids at the game all the time. They are asking for autographs and photos, which is brilliant. Having an engaging community makes such a difference to the club and the players.
“When I came in I felt the club was very fractured. There was a disconnection between the management and playing side to the committee, the committee to the supporters. We have worked on that, and brought everyone together, it shows. We are getting supporters turning up to watch us at training, they come and watch what the boys are doing. The boys will go over and say hello and shake their hand. The club as a whole is massively improving.”