Everything’s coming up tangerine as Downfield boss Lewis Toshney dips into his contacts book, hoping to get his managerial career off to a flier.
Ex-United striker Simon Murray and midfielder Scott Fraser have already assisted Toshney, with current first-team goalkeepers Benjamin Siegrist and Deniz Mehmet set to offer their expertise to the Spiders.
Former Celtic and Scotland U/21 centre-half Toshney is delighted to have them on board and hopes the superstar coaches get as much out of it as his players do.
Spiders to benefit from Terrors stars
“I’ve had players on the phone wanting to come in and get a feel for it, get used to it,” he said.
“Simon (Murray) is the prime example. He phoned me, wanting to get involved. Scotty Fraser’s been in training, too.
“He’s at MK Dons in League One in England absolutely flying.
“He’s right involved in it, every game we play we video it and he’s wanting to watch it for analysis. We’re sending them to him.
“He’ll come back and work on the midfielders, make wee points for them to watch and work on, Si does the strikers and I do the defenders.
“That’s the way we want to work it.
“I’ve got big Ben Siegrist coming in and Deniz Mehmet as well. The two of them are going to rotate it working with the keepers and Richie Wallace my goalkeeping coach.
“They’re playing at the highest level – the Premiership in Scotland – so they can go and give wee pointers to Fergus Robertson and Charlie Kennedy my two keepers.
“It can only benefit them.”
‘Daft’ Toshney getting used to gaffer tag
Toshney, who played for United for three years of an injury-plagued career from 2016-19, admits it’s been difficult adjusting to life as a manager.
It’s especially tough when he’s working with his old Tangerines pals, where he’s far more used to playing the ‘daft’ role than that of the gaffer.
“I’m telling them, because some of them are calling me gaffer and stuff like that,” he laughed.
“I’m saying: ‘Don’t call me gaffer yet!’
“I’ve always wanted to be a coach but you ask any Scotty or Si and they probably wouldn’t have seen me becoming a manager because they think I’m daft!
“I want to have earned being called that. That’s the way I am.
“I’m still a player but I’m just going into management and coaching.
“I’m learning but I’m still only 29, there are guys older than me playing so it’s hard.”
Downfield gaffer happy to put ‘horrible existence’ behind him
Although he’s excited for what the future has in store, Toshney does admit there is still some regret at hanging up his boots early to pursue a career in the dugout.
However, the former Inverness and Falkirk man knows he can’t look back and is fully focused on his new-found passion for developing players.
“There’s always going to be regret in my mind,” he added.
“My knee’s feeling fine now so I feel as if I can go again but I wasn’t going to rely on it.
“I was out all last season with Inverness and I was up there the whole time.
“My daughter is here in Dundee and I was coming down as often as I could but I was just thinking to myself: ‘This is a horrible existence’.
“It was my hip at that time, not even my knee, but I knew if I got another club and it happened again while I was contracted I would’ve just been in the same boat.
“I’ve had enough now, that’s it, let’s concentrate on this coaching and get right involved in it.
“I’m absolutely loving it.
“I’m working on my A Licence just now after doing my B at Falkirk a couple of years ago.
“I’ve just been so enthusiastic and involved in it now.
“Andy Goldie gave me my first opportunity at Dundee United with the U/17s and I loved it but then I moved to Falkirk and Inverness and had to leave.
“I want to be involved in grassroots, though, and developing kids that have maybe been released by Dundee or United.
“I want to work with those guys. I feel they deserve it.”