Rab Douglas: I wouldn’t want to see Dundee go down the same road as Falkirk

Scott Arfield was a Falkirk youth product.

Every club has to make the right decisions for themselves but I can’t help but think that Falkirk may live to regret pulling the plug on their youth academy.

On the surface, it appears a bit short-sighted.

Falkirk have built up a strong reputation over the last few years for developing their own players.

Craig Sibbald, Scott Arfield, Jay Fulton and Stephen Kingsley are just a few of the players who have moved on for money after getting a good grounding there.

You would think that selling one player a year would be a sound business plan that would be financially viable and also keep the team competitive at the same time.

I gather that Falkirk have lost money in the last two years but that would seem like a relatively short period of time to base such a big decision as this on.

I know that Dundee didn’t get the level they were looking for in the Project Brave structure.

It wasn’t good news, especially as the owners of the club had made youth development such a big priority when they took over.

I certainly wouldn’t want to see what’s happening at Falkirk repeated at Dens, that’s for sure.


* It wasn’t a shock to see Celtic’s unbeaten run come to an end but it was a shock for it to happen with such a heavy defeat at Hearts.

Maybe the European games have finally caught up with them.

The team definitely doesn’t feel as settled as last season.

When you looked at the league table on Sunday it was a lot closer than people thought it would be a few weeks ago, which is no bad thing.

They won’t go on another 69-game run but it wouldn’t surprise me if Brendan Rodgers gets his side to kick on again and open up a familiar gap at the top.


* Gordon Strachan has had his say over the last couple of days about his time in charge of Scotland.

I don’t think it was a great idea.

You certainly didn’t get a sense that he was a man who taken time to reflect on what he could have done better.

At the end of the day, Strachan got two campaigns, which is more than a lot of national managers. And we didn’t qualify for either.

Forget all the talk about genetics, sport science and the rest of it. It all comes down to results at that level and Scotland weren’t quite good enough in Strachan’s time in charge.

It’s up to the next man to do better. Not that we seem any closer to finding out who that will be.


* Mark O’Hara will be coming up against a team who have been linked with a move for him on Saturday.

He’s got a good record against Motherwell and it always boosts your confidence to read that clubs are interested in you.

From a Dundee point of view, though, he’s a player they really need to keep. Goal-scoring midfielders are worth their weight in gold.


* I’d like to thank everybody who has got in touch with me on the back of my BBC interview last week.

It really has been fantastic.

And a merry Christmas to everybody who has taken the time to read the column.