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Dundee’s old training set-up wasn’t professional admits Cammy Kerr – but ‘massive’ Gardyne shift has put club on right path

Dundee defender Cammy Kerr.
Dundee star Cammy Kerr.

Dundee stalwart Cammy Kerr says the way training was set up at the club in the past was not professional.

And the 26-year-old admits he has played a part in that in his decade with the Dark Blues.

Throughout his time as a senior player, Dundee would have to travel from Dens Park every morning to an outside facility to train.

For a club with ambition like the Dark Blues, Kerr accepts that was far from an ideal set-up.

‘Needs to be better’

However, there is a new beginning and a fresh start for the squad as they bed into their new home at the Gardyne Campus.

In the four-year partnership with the D&A College, Dundee have access to their own training pitches, a gym, swimming pool, facilities for tactical and video analysis as well as social spaces to enjoy lunch together.

A dejected Cammy Kerr at full-time
A dejected Cammy Kerr last season against St Mirren.

After the club’s relegation following a dismal last campaign, Kerr was clear in his view there needed to be big changes at Dundee to bring about success.

He said after the last game of the season at Livingston: “From a football point of view, it needs to be in a better place than this.

“The club’s got to have a real direction now in what they want to do, and really kick on and be a big football club.”

‘Breath of fresh air’

Now, though, the move to Gardyne Campus has brought a freshness to the players and to the club as a whole with the rest of the behind-the-scenes staff also moving in.

Kerr joined goalkeeper Adam Legzdins and defender Ryan Sweeney in getting the new dressing-room and other facilities ready for the start of pre-season and he’s been delighted with things so far.

Kerr said: “It is a massive change that has been needed for a while.

“I don’t want to go saying stuff before things have actually happened but everything has been really positive.

“Being in and around the new facilities at Gardyne the last few days with Adam and Sweens trying to sort things out for the boys coming back has been absolutely brilliant.

“It has been like a breath of fresh air to go into a facility that’s just yours with club badges up.

“That’s just the start of it.”

‘Not professional’

Instead of making the drive from Dens Park to training pitches at Riverside or to the Regional Performance Centre or elsewhere in Dundee, the players now arrive at D&A College in the morning, do all their work in the same location before heading home.

Kerr hopes that change to the daily routine that has been the case for so many years brings about change on the pitch.

“It is not professional,” he said of the previous set-up.

Cammy Kerr is in his testimonial season at Dundee.

“I try to pride myself on my professionalism like others but it has been something I have probably been guilty of – accepting that.

“It is all I have known since being a young lad and it is kind of drilled into you that’s the way things are done and the way we do it at Dundee.

“All along, you are thinking, ‘Imagine if we had our own place, imagine if we had our own catering staff who could really help us, to help take us to the level we should be at realistically’.

“I am not saying things were terrible but we should be doing things in a better way than we were doing before.”

Pride

New manager Gary Bowyer said that the quality of the new facility has taken away an excuses for players this season and Kerr agrees.

“It is completely down to the players now,” he added.

“The onus is on us as individuals and as a team.

“That’s where I go back to having that pride of playing for Dundee and it is solely down to you now.

“The club can do all this stuff, bringing us to nice facilities but at the end of the day, it comes down to the players and the staff.”

EXCLUSIVE: Inside Dundee’s new Gardyne facility – what the move means for the Dark Blues

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