The Welsh Gull

Torquay United, the Football League and other stuff

FM13 Career: A New Start in the North

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After applying (rather optimistically, perhaps) for some Championship jobs and failing to get them, I finally got a job offer from north of the border. Dundee lost long-serving manager Barry Smith to Cardiff, and I fancied another go at the SPL – a previous attempt with Hibernian was quite successful but I never finished the first season. I spent a holiday just north of Dundee in Coupar Angus when I was 10 so I know the city quite well – it’s well-known for the Tay Railway Bridge, the longest in Britain (which incidentally is not the one in the picture – that’s the road bridge), and for being the current home of the RRS Discovery, the ship that carried Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton to the Antarctic in 1901.

Dundee are best-known as part of that great Scottish double-act with literal next-door neighbours Dundee United. It is the Terrors, who play in orange, who have had the more recent success, winning the Premier Division (as it was known then) in 1982-83, and the Scottish Cup in 2009-10, as well as reaching the latter stages of the European Cup and UEFA Cup in the 1980s. In the game, they also won the Scottish League Cup for the third time in 2013-14. By contrast, Dundee’s success is more distant, but their list of honours is much the same – 1 league title (1961-62), 1 Scottish Cup (1909-10), 3 Scottish League Cups (1951-52, 1952-53 and 1973-74), and a European Cup semi-final (1962-63). In recent years, they have fallen on harder times – they have lurched from financial crisis to financial crisis, and were relegated from the SPL in 2004-05. They spent 7 seasons in the First Division before being promoted to the SPL in 2012 at the expense of the liquidated Rangers.

In the real world, they were also relegated at the end of 2012-13. But in the game, they have remained in the top division, finishing 11th in 2012-13 above Hibernian, and then 8th last year, when Aberdeen were the surprising victims. They have had a good start to this season as well, as shown here before my first league match – Hibs are once again the strugglers.

Since then, I’ve beaten Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup (4-1 away, after an initial 2-2 draw at home), and thumped Falkirk 4-1 at home – 10 goals scored in 3 games is a pretty good start. The latter also briefly vaulted us to 4th in the standings, on the same points as 3rd-placed St Mirren, albeit until the teams below us made up their games in hand.

It’s looking good so far. Next game? Dundee United away. No pressure then…

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Written by James Bennett

June 26, 2013 at 02:04

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