Tam Courts has lifted the lid on his journey from Tannadice pariah to “Puss Shuttin’ Champion 2021” in a fascinating YouTube appearance.
Courts has spoken previously about the “furore” surrounding his appointment as Dundee United boss.
Disillusioned fans vented their anger on social media as news emerged in June of Courts’ promotion from the club’s youth academy to head coach.
And in a YouTube presentation to the North American Scottish Coaches Association (NASCA), Courts displayed a slide with ‘before’ and ‘after’ tweets from fans.
In reference to one “before” tweet, Courts claimed a fan had promised to run him and his coach Adam Asghar out of town.
And the mood music on social media has changed.
In an “after” tweet, Courts displayed a picture of a United fan with a “Tam Courts, The Chosen One” tattoo on his leg.
Then Courts jokingly pointed to a fan-created meme that labelled him the “Puss Shuttin’ Champion 2021.”
“When I got appointed to say it caused a bit of a storm would be putting it mildly,” said Courts.
“In a weird way, I used it almost as validation that I had the minerals to take on a job like this.
“I was well aware that I had come from nowhere but you start to feel intensity online.
“The first tweet was promising to ‘run us out of town’, myself and Adam.
“The next tweet suggested that I don’t have the gravitas or experience to manage or attract players.
Opinions of Tam Courts have changed
“But as the season progressed, we have started to get in some performances and develop a style.
“We’ve made some decent signings through the work that Tony Asghar and the staff do.
“We’ve managed to get a better performance level from a lot of the players that were already in the building.
“Slowly but surely, opinion of me has changed. It’s at the point that people are prepared to get tattoos on their legs with my name on it.
“Within the Dundee United fan base they say I’m the ‘Puss Shutting Champion 2021’.
I have to take that as a back-handed compliment!”
Management like ‘snakes and ladders’
Courts then uses a ‘snakes and ladders’ analogy when outlining his coaching journey.
He’s riding on the crest of a wave as United push for European football – but knows only too well how quickly his side could fall.
“The thing I realised from that whole episode is that you are either going to sink or swim,” added Courts.
“I always keep going back to the snakes and ladders analogy.
“To go from Kelty Hearts to youth academy coach at Dundee United to head coach in the Scottish Premiership is three or four significant jumps on the snakes and ladders board.
— The Courier Sport (@thecouriersport) November 18, 2021
“From a context perspective, I realised that ‘if and when’ I got that kind of job then people weren’t really going to recognise or celebrate it.
“They will point towards previous risks so I had to embrace that and appear to be in control for the players and the staff.
“In some initial interviews I did it was almost like rabbits in the headlight stuff. The level of attention was so intense.
“But you’ve got to be kind to yourself. You have to understand you will say the wrong thing and make mistakes.
“As long as your detail is consistent on the training pitch with the players and how you deal with them then that’s where they take their strength.”
The North American Scottish Coaches Association is a community of Scottish coaches working in North America, which strives to educate, nurture and provide opportunity to members – and welcomes all Scottish coaches working in North America to join.