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About this blog

Welcome to Dig's Blog 'Since I was Young...' where I will subject anyone with very little time on their hands, to my thoughts and sometimes brainfarts on anythingn Pars or even Football related. 

I hope you enjoy it. Or not. Whatever.


Entries in this blog


Listen very carefully, I shall say this only once...

Anyone who knows me, particularly where football is concerned, will tell you I have some pretty strong opinions and will argue them until the other person changes their opinion, or just gets bored and gives up. If I think I'm right, it's going to take a pretty convincing argument to get me to change my mind. That doesn't sound like a particularly endearing personality trait and admittedly, it takes quite a bit of stubbornness to maintain   Indeed, I played the game the same way, and whilst I was definitely no Messi, I knew what my job was and I expected others to do theirs, and I'd let them know if they weren't. This earned me the nickname 'Angry Mike' but to be honest, it didn't bother me as it showed people were at least acknowledging the fact I was doing my job.  However, I'm going to hold my hands up here and say something I don't say all that often.....I was wrong. Wrong about what? Well, last season in general to be honest. Despite the first two paragraphs, I generally take a 'glass half full' approach to football, and try and look for the positives, and I did that a lot last year. By the end of the season, as you can imagine, that was becoming quite the stretch! I will qualify the above by saying, I don't think I was wrong about everything, and indeed I maintain I was right about some of the stuff I was saying so let's look at the fans main gripes with last season. "The team needs to stop playing this tippy-tappy p*sh!"  - This is a difficult one, as I both agree and disagree with this to certain extents, as I don't believe we were doing a huge amount wrong in terms of our general play last year. I have no problem with teams playing it short and keeping the ball, but we found it hard to turn that possession into chances/goals. Gary Neville said the same thing about Man Utd yesterday, that it's all very well, doing the good things in terms of possession and making the other team run, but your forward players have to make the opposition turn in the final third. He was blaming a lack of firepower up front but that wasn't our issue last year. It was a lack of directness, and therefore service. We are now getting the ball forward quickly and also getting the balls into the strikers earlier, and therefore the opposition aren't getting the chance to 'park the bus' and get organised behind the ball. So, in summary, it wasn't 'tippy tappy p*sh', it was a lack of pace getting the ball forward that was the problem. "Our players aren't good enough..." - I didn't agree with this then and still don't now. Looking at the first team now, there is roughly 6/7 players in the starting line up who were regulars last year, so that's clearly not the case. Every single one of them under-performed last year with the possible exception being Ryan Williamson, who I am giving the benefit of the doubt due to his age/lack of experience. We had/have good players and AJ has done a fantastic job in realising that and just tweaking and adding the bits that were missing - A bit of steel, pace and also some quality from players who frankly, we have been really lucky to land in Dycie, Paton, Cardle and Talbot, as none of them should be playing in our league. It speaks to the job the club and AJ is doing to 'sell' the club to the players we are trying to recruit. It's not so much that we needed better but we needed to tweak and improve what we had. "We aren't fit/strong enough" - This, I was wrong about. I just didn't see it last year, and I thought it was a bit of an excuse to be honest, but I'll hold my hands up and say I've noticed a difference. We've finished games strongly, (Dundee was a great example of this where we were still going at the end unlike our supposedly superior opponents), and the pace of our play is markedly improved on last year, as I mentioned above. Again, I put this down to AJ. He was a very fit player in his day, and his whole approach to preparation in using the latest sports science techniques, to little things like making the subs go and cool down after coming off, rather than just sitting on the bench stiffening up. "John Potter is the right man for the job" - I really, really wanted it to work for JP (like most of us I suspect) but I probably defended him longer than the performances deserved. The fact is though, this season's performances have proved that he either wasn't ready or just wasn't the right man full stop. His main problem appeared to be that he just couldn't decide on his first 11. He seemed to be trying to use the depth in the squad to set out a formation to combat the opposition. This is fine if it's the Champions League, but it's not, it's SPFL League One. The majority of the 'good' sides in the league pick their best 11 and stick with it, because they have to. We are now experiencing similar this year with a smaller squad and AJ is reaping the benefits of doing so. I'm glad he is still at the club. The reason I thought he would be good for the role was because I've watched him coach and he is a bloody good coach. He is also in charge of some of the clubs young talent again, coaching the Fife Elite Football Academy's u15 squad. Hopefully bringing on a few more youngsters like he has in the past, as he does have some cracking players in that squad... In football, it's never, ever too late to learn. I've probably learned more about the game in the last 10 years than I did in the whole 20-odd I was playing. I've found there is a lot more to the game than just being able to play it. A lot of people think they understand the game, but trust me, you probably don't as much as you think you do, I know I don't. The one thing I would implore all football fans to do is watch the analysis on Sky Sports by Neville, Carragher and Henry. It's a close as most of us are likely to get to speaking to ex-pros about the game, and I know from getting my son to watch, and from the coaching he's been lucky enough to have had, he knows a lot more about the game than I did at his age, and actually understands it really well in comparison. Anyone who disagrees with their analysis because they don't like Carragher's mangling of English, or Neville because of the way he played the game, is really doing themselves a dis-service. They see things most of us don't even notice and I'm finding that the stuff I learned working with ex-pros in the Juniors is actually being made even more sense of by these guys.  When you learn, you admit your mistakes, and I'm happy to do that here. I. Was. Wrong.  Hopefully, a lot more of us are thinking critically nowadays when it comes to their team and questioning not only what they see on the park but their own long held opinions on the game as we become more sophisticated as fans, because the guys playing and coaching are becoming more sophisticated in their techniques. Digs - COYP  




Doin' it for the Kids

I read the most recent update from the club other day, partly in amazement and most definitely with pride, where they released the latest figures of Season Tickets sold.   At the time of publication, the club has sold 2087 season tickets. That is a phenomenal figure when you consider the fact we are in the third tier of Scottish Football, we had what was arguably the worst season in living memory, and that it dwarfs the season ticket sales of not only every other club in our league, but that of a significant number of Championship teams too.   Whilst that’s a great reason to be pleased, it was the next part of that statement that really left me chuffed. Of the figure of 2087, 428 of those were free season tickets taken up by U12’s. That might seem to be a bit of a contradiction to an outsider, that I would be celebrating the fact about 25% of the total ‘sales’ were in fact sold for £0.   Anyone who would take that view though, is taking a pretty myopic view of the importance of these ‘sales’. Yes, you want as many Season Tickets sold as possible, as it is a guaranteed bum on a seat at every home game and guaranteed revenue for the club. However, every one of those 428 (and bear in mind there are also those sold to 12-17 yr old children included in the 2087) is the next generation of Pars fan, and therefore the lifeblood of the club for the next generation.   As I write this, it was 2 years ago to the day that the CVA was accepted and DAFC was saved from extinction. That’s not me being melodramatic, that’s a cold, hard fact. It actually brings a smile to my face to think that these kids are going to grow up supporting the team, and hopefully experience the special days that will give them memories like I have from winning Championships, Promotions, and Cup Finals. Not to mention their generations version of Kozma’s hat trick against St Mirren, or Mark Smith’s cross/shot against Rangers, or Barry Nicholson’s ‘Archie Gemmell’ against ICT. That’s the beauty of supporting a ‘diddy team’. You remember these things because they are fewer and further between than it would be for a ‘bigger’ team where it’s almost a matter of routine.   More importantly, these kids are the new me & you. They are the ones who will be spending daft amounts of money (probably more than their Mrs knows *ahem*) on the club when they are old enough to earn their own, and hopefully will be the ones not only buying the kits etc but will be supplying the new generation of kids to replace them.   That being the case, we MUST be doing as much as we can to encourage them and I think the club is making a good effort there. Whilst this site is a wholly independent site with no ties to the club, we also want to try and assist with that, and so that is one of the reasons we are going to be as inclusive as possible so that anyone, be they old, middle aged, young, male female, literally ANYONE who is a  Pars or even just a football fan, can use this site and post on the forum to get them talking about and engaged with this great club. Forums are a great way to do that, and hopefully it can encourage them to start engaging with the club in a more meaningful way assisting with projects within the club.   It is, after all, a club run by the Fans, For the Fans, so as adults Pars fans, I feel it’s our duty to them and the club to get them involved.   So, let’s all do what we can to help encourage these kids by making them welcome both here and at games, and hopefully, they might even buy us a pint in Charlie D’s when they’re old enough…       Digs