Dunbar United’s Chris King has rolled back the years so far this term but he admits this season could be his last playing football.
The 34-year-old has made a stunning start to the campaign – netting 13 goals already from midfield for the Seasiders – as Dunbar have made a smooth transition from the Juniors to the East of Scotland League.
Boss Geoff Jones will certainly hope to yet convince his playmaker to commit for next season at least, with the club looking to continue their recent ascent having only got of the South Division, the lowest rung of the East Juniors, at the end of 2016/17 as champions.
A top-five finish in Conference A this season would ensure they are competing in the top tier next term, which is a realistic target for the club. Dunbar are currently conference leaders after an unbeaten three-game start.
“It’s been a really good start from us,” said King, who scored four in a 6-0 rout of Hawick Royal Albert last weekend.
“It’s probably the best start to the season I’ve had for a few years, goals wise especially, but it’s more about the team just now and, if we have a few more chipping in with some goals, we should do all right this year.
“That’s me on 13 now which is a lot better than what I’ve had in previous years. A lot of them have been from set-plays so there’s not a lot of goals getting scored from open play. I’ve been getting a lot of opportunities with the amount of free-kicks we are getting and penalties as well.
“I didn’t know much about the East of Scotland League because I’ve played Junior for such a long time, but it seemed the right thing to do with everyone else leaving and it seems to have worked out. It’s not really a big issue to myself and the team. All you want to do is play every week. It’s a wee bit of a change, it’s like a fresh start and, if we have a good year this year, we’ll go into another league.
“If we had been promoted last year to the Super League, it’s obviously not a great Super League for the Juniors just now and we probably would have just sat in that league for God knows how long.
“To come through the South Division was a big thing for Dunbar and to go into the Premier League [for the first time] and have the year that we did was really good. Now we are aiming to get into the top five of our league.”
King has worked hard on his fitness over the summer, which is perhaps the secret behind his fine start to the season. He’ll be looking to get on the scoresheet against his former club tomorrow when Dunbar make the short trip to East Lothian neighbours Musselburgh Athletic – last season’s Premier League champions, who were on the wrong end of a 5-1 defeat to Dalkeith Thistle last weekend, just their third loss of 2018.
King continued: “If you are wanting to play, you need to [keep fit]. We’ve got a lot of boys that are young and fit. On my side, I’ve got experience but, if you want to keep playing, you’ve really got to try and keep training up, which I have done over all the years anyway. It gets hard the older you get – I’ve got four kids now! All my pals through football have just started having kids in the last couple of years and they’ve been saying to me ‘Wow, how did you manage to do it when you were younger?’
“I’m 34 so I don’t think I’ve got long left. This will probably be my last full year of playing. The funny thing is, I’ve probably played more ninety minutes this season than I played all of last year.
“I’m looking forward to Saturday. I’m hoping we can go there and give them a wee fright, after their result last week as well. It could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how they react.”