Edinburgh University set to appoint new manager from a shortlist of six candidates
Interviews took place earlier this week and the uni hope to make an announcement in due course. Former boss Dorian Ogunro left the student outfit earlier this month after 11 years at the helm and the club's committee is moving quickly to find a replacement.
The Uni can look forward to another season in Scottish football's fifth tier after the summer. The club finished second bottom but city rivals Spartans' historic promotion to the SPFL staved off the threat of relegation. It is not easy to compete against teams at that level and other university teams, like Stirling and Heriot-Watt, are using sports scholarships to provide better support to students who are first-team players.
The Peffermill club are not able to do that but still believe they can be a mid-table team and are excited to be heading into the 2023/2024 campaign under new leadership.
Board representative Cameron MacKinnon explained: “We don't want to be duking it out near the bottom of the Lowland League - that's not what we want for our students first and foremost. It's not good for them when they've got a lot of challenges academically to be going and taking a five, six-nil hammering at the weekend. There's not much enjoyment in that.
“Our strategy is we want to give them protection so they can fulfil their potential. There is funding available but not comparable to the other clubs in the Lowland League. I find it absolutely astounding the amount of money that is rolling around at this level of football and what we can offer players is something different. You are playing at some of the best facilities in Scotland, surrounded by really enthusiastic guys and we can also help them to do a bit of coaching, get their badges if that is also the path they want to go down.
"For the five non-students [an internal club rule] we hope to get a blend of characters that will help raise the standards of the team. We want to establish ourselves as a kind of middle-six stalwart of the Lowland League where everybody knows where we're aiming to be. So, the highest we might get to is fifth or sixth and the worst maybe 12th, 13th or 14th – that's the goal.
"I think players will be attracted to the balance that we can provide between a great development environment and also sympathy towards what they're ultimately her to do at the university which is to get a degree and a rewarding career. It's really hard for people to look in on the challenges these guys face and what they're doing while also playing at such a really high standard of football."
MacKinnon continued: "There's lots of ancillary things that we're going to try and do as well to help make it the best possible environment for developing players. It's more dynamic here than perhaps people realise. We have four teams at the uni, 85 players that will increase to about 120 next season and all of them are paying membership fees in order to play at the club.
"The experience of the guys playing in the Lowland League is significantly better than the other teams. It's just the nature of playing in the premier team. This was the first season we waived the fees of the first-team squad and it had a ripple effect through the club, so that's another thing we have to be mindful of.
"We're not the best supported sports club at the university by the institution itself but we kind of have to help ourselves in that regard and sometimes we have to take a few steps forward for the university to realise what's going on."