Another summer, another manager and another season approaches for Dundee.
The 2022/23 campaign kicks off this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing what Gary Bowyer’s Dark Blues look like.
Obviously there aren’t any new faces to talk about just yet but Saturday’s 4-0 win over Peterhead gave us a wee glimpse of the future.
It may just have been for the first match of pre-season that so many youngsters got a run out but, hopefully, that spells a positive future for the Dark Blues developing their own talent.
That’s what Scottish football clubs should be doing, 100%.
— Dundee Football Club (@DundeeFC) July 3, 2022
Group stage benefit
Hopefully we see a bit more of that from Dundee and others in the League Cup games to come.
That’s the benefit of this group stage for me.
These games don’t have the same pressure as a league fixture or a Scottish Cup tie because there’s a bit of leeway in a group situation.
So clubs are more willing to try out youngsters who are maybe not quite ready to be thrown in at the deep end but aren’t far away from the first team.
Hopefully, there will be an opportunity for some of these players to get competitive first-team action under their belt.
But new boss Bowyer will certainly be looking to get some wins on the board early on.
I expect a very different outlook on Saturday from him compared with Peterhead and tonight’s match at Montrose.
He will now have a good idea of what he has to work with at Dens Park.
I’d expect he’d have liked to have a couple new faces in by now to freshen things up but the squad at his disposal is a decent one for the Championship.
There will be a lower budget to work from this season so having talented youngsters you can call on is a major bonus.
Bowyer has already shown he’s willing to give young players an opportunity to impress so, hopefully, that continues in the competitive games coming up.
But it certainly won’t be an easy group for Dundee.
Facing Hamilton Accies on Saturday and Queen’s Park later in the group will give a good indication of where they are at compared to two Championship rivals.
Travelling to Stranraer won’t be easy either before Forfar arrive at Dens Park.
I think each game will be difficult for different reasons.
Playing John Rankin’s Accies will be a test on Saturday though.
I can guarantee he’ll have his team very fit and very competitive.
You probably won’t get a better test of Championship-style football than this weekend.
Meanwhile, I was sad to see kit lady Lorraine Noble leave Dundee last week.
She has been one of the most familiar faces around Dens for years.
I know I certainly gave her a tough time there when I was a player!
But people like Lorraine are the heartbeat of football clubs, it’s a real shame to see people like her leaving in that way.