East of Scotland First Division: Dunbar United transformed on and off pitch and eyeing promotion

Dunbar United boss Kevin Haynes is eyeing an immediate return to the East of Scotland Premier following relegation to the 16-team First Division.

The top three from the second tier are guaranteed promotion, while fourth place would also go up if a Premier League side can follow Tranent by moving up to the Lowland League.

The New Countess Park outfit have been transformed both on and off the park during the close season with a new 200-seater stand erected and 10 new signings added.

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“There had to be changes from last season,” said Haynes. “There was aspects of last season as a whole that I wasn’t comfortable with; we never had one clean sheet in the league last season, so that needed addressed.

Dunbar United have a new 200-seat stand at New Countess Park for season 2022/23.

“It’s starting to look like my squad, there is 12 that I have brought in and there is eight that remain. It’s been a huge turnover in the space of a calendar year since I took on the job. The boys look like they have gelled really well, some of the new boys look like they have been here for years.

“It’s a great changing room, it’s worked out really well – there doesn’t seem to be any cliques which is always a worry when you bring so many in.

“As my board keep saying, they have done a massive job on all the big shiny stuff – the licensing which got us into the Scottish Cup last season, the new stand, the under 20s, a new van for the kit man, all this stuff. It’s now about how me maintain it and matching the off-field efforts with the on-field stuff.

“The facilities have highlighted that we are a Premier Division side, minimum, and that’s where we need to be. The ambition for everybody is promotion this year and back to where we should be.

Dunbar United boss Kevin Haynes has overhauled his squad and has set promotion to the top flight as his main target.

“We need to be up there challenging, and I personally think there are around seven teams that fancy their chances. We need to make sure that at the very minimum we finish third, and anything after that is a bonus. We have to be in that top three.”

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