Dave Forbes arranged another of the Society’s monthly Seniors’ Meetings and this took place last Friday in the Billy Steel Lounge.Guests from the playing staff were Colin Nish, Steven Milne and Matt Lockwood and MC Dave got the ball rolling (poor pun there) asking the boys for a brief history of their playing careers.
Colin’s clubs have been Alloa, Dunfermline, Kilmarnock, Hibernian, Clyde, Hartlepool and Dundee and while with Killie and Hibs scored a creditable 62 leaguegoals.
‘Savo’ began at Dundee, was loaned to Forfar, came back to Dens before leaving for Plymouth Argyle. He came back to St Johnstone (scoring two against Rangers at Ibrox!), went to Ross County then finally back ‘home’. Savo has scored 34 league goals in his two spells at Dens.
Matt began his career as a trainee at his home town club, Southend, before being signed by QPR. Ian Holloway, more about him later, took Matt with him to Bristol Rovers and it was there he was turned into a left back. Matt then moved to Leyton Orient, scoring an astonishing 50 goals, to Notts Forest, Colchester and a couple of loan moves before coming to Dundee.
There were then questions from the floor.
Q: Why don’t you train in the afternoons as well as morning?
A: There were a lot of issues concerning travelling, meals, proper rest and recovery from injuries. Friday was a day for set pieces as the team had been picked and everyone would know what they had to do.
Q: Who is/was your biggest influence in the game, Barry excluded?
A: Colin – Jim Jeffries because he was absolutely meticulous.
Savo – Jinky Farningham because he was/is upbeat, hard working, is fun and great for team spirit.
Matt – Ian Holloway. Just as ‘bonkers’ in real life as he is on television – an excellent motivator. When Matt first went to Bristol, he stayed with Ian who was player/manager and woke one Saturday morning to loud noises in the garden – Ian playing badminton with his wife on the morning of a game!
Q: What do you think of the standard of refereeing?
A: Let’s just say that the boys are not too impressed. All they ask for is consistency and a fair crack of the whip. One of the biggest complaints was that refereeing guidelines take over from common sense. The referee is told what to do and is left with little or no leeway.
Matt turned the tables by asking the audience if anyone understood the new offside rule because, if they did, could they explain it to Colin Nish. A rather sheepish Colin admitted that he’d been caught out a ‘couple of times’.
Q: What did the boys think of shielding the ball out?
A: You won’t be surprised that Matt thought it was ok but the other two were against it.
Q: Opinions on the proposed new league set up?
A: The consensus was that they would ‘suck it and see’. The current set up is too
punitive with only one promotion spot whereas the new leagues should provide more excitement and, of course, if you end up in the second league of eight, relegation may only be for six months.
Q: Has the team given up?
A: An emphatic ‘no’ to that one.
Q: Matt was asked about the Deefiant season.
A: It was absolutely the best season he has ever had. Despite the small pool, he believes we still had the best team in the league and it was astonishing that there were no injuries or suspensions.
This season it has been so different because we don’t have the best team but opponents have still been complimentary about our play. The players work very hard but mistakes are severely punished and there is little or no margin for error.
A: The injured players are all desperate to get back and play.
Dave drew the meeting to a close with thanks to Steven, Matt and Colin for coming along. The players themselves thanked the group for an opportunity to meet with them.The boys were wished the very best for the Morton game.
As a post-script – the working on set pieces didn’t half pay dividends in the game!
The next Seniors meeting will be held on Feb 26th, and not on the 28th as previously advertised