Dunbar United boss Geoff Jones says Saturday’s Scottish Junior Cup last-16 clash at home to west giants Glenafton is a reward for his players’ endeavours this season, but he insists they aren’t just there to make up the numbers.
The East Lothian club is buzzing ahead of hosting the 2013/14 runners-up at New Countess Park as they take their place in the fifth round for the first time in 12 years.
Former captain Jones, a club stalwart of 14 years, is relishing the challenge posed by one of the favourites for the trophy. Although the Seasiders are massive underdogs, they went the whole of 2016 unbeaten in the league at home.
“We’re playing, in my view, a team that probably fancies their chances of winning the cup. However, I would give us a fighting chance against anybody at home if we turn up and play the way we can,” said Jones. “That’s how we’ll approach the game.
“If I’m honest, I was really pleased with the draw because it’s wee bit of a reward for the guys. It’s a big day for the club.
“Most games we’ve gone into this season with the pressure on us, but Saturday is a free shot. There is almost zero expectation on us apart from what we place on ourselves. We’re going to have a go.
“The players deserve it more than anyone because they’ve worked so hard this year and there’s been a noticeable difference in their attitude. Every single one of them will be going out and looking to prove a point by showing that we can compete with these teams.
“Hopefully, we can do ourselves justice. I genuinely think we’ve got a right good chance.”
Dunbar hosted over 500 spectators in the last round – a 3-1 success over Benburb – and they are expecting an even bigger crowd with the club the sole representative from East Lothian still in the competition.
Jones doesn’t expect to spend too much of the cash generated on new signings as they push for promotion from the South Division for the first time.
He added: “We don’t have any big sponsorship and we don’t have any money man that sits and hands out cash to keep the club running. It’s all done through the hard work of the committee. Big days like this we could make a wee bit of money which would be really helpful because it’s getting harder to continuously generate funds to try and compete. I was a player here when there no was money really getting handed around so I spend the money like it’s my own. We don’t push the boat out – we never have – to spend money to entice a player to come here who is only here for money. That’s one of the key things that we’ve managed to create in the last three years – the players are signing not for money but because the club is hopefully going in the right direction.”