Gary Harkins skippered Dundee during the ‘Deefiant’ season of 2011 and would love to harness that kind of collective spirit at Forfar.
Harkins led Dark Blues to safety, alongside Station Park manager Gary Irvine, as Dundee overcame a 25-point penalty to survive in the old First Division.
And Harkins believes lessons can be learned from that famous era at Dundee as he starts out at Forfar.
“That was a great year,” said Harkins. “We were all in it together at Dundee – fans, players, backroom staff, admin staff, everyone at the club.
“There are more lows in football than highs but that’s definitely a year I treasure from my playing days.”
“It was a collective effort. If you ask anyone who was in that squad with Gary and I then they’ll tell you it was the best dressing room ever.
“The feeling we had when we achieved safety was unbelievable as it meant so much to everyone at the club.
“There are more lows in football than highs but that’s definitely a year I treasure from my playing days.
“It’s a different job at Forfar but if we can create that kind of spirit at our club then it can really help us.”
Gary Harkins delighted to renew ties with Irvine at Forfar
Harkins and Irvine have known each other for 24 years. They first met at the age of 12 as they came through the youth ranks at Celtic.
After playing together at Dundee they duo are working together again as part of a three-man coaching team at Loons.
Irvine is staying on as manager with former Dundee and Dundee United star Scott Robertson his assistant and Harkins in as first team coach.
“I wasn’t looking for a way back into the game and I was quite happy with my weekends,” said Harkins.
“But when someone like Gary asks you to work with him at Forfar you don’t say no.
“Yes I had to think about it because there will be a lot of travelling for me but it’s Gary and we’ve been friends for a very long time.
“We both joined Celtic youth when we were 12 and were together until I left to go to Blackburn at 16.
“Our careers have crossed a few times at Dundee and we have always been very close so it’s fitting that I’m starting out in coaching with Gary.
Harkins determined to bring his own ideas to Forfar
“Forfar are a great family club, with ambitions to progress and we are ambitious too.
“We don’t want to try and emulate anyone else, we want to make our own imprint on the club.
“I have my own ideas but I have very similar views on football to Gary and Scott. All three of us will get on great together.
“I have no doubt that Gary will be successful. Gary always had a very professional approach to the game and a winning mentality
“If his team mirrors the type of player and person his is then it will really work.”