Happy 2021 to all of the Dundee fans across the globe, I hope this note finds you and you loved ones safe, healthy, and optimistic for the future. After a torrid 10 months, we at Dundee Football Club feel that there is hope on the horizon with the announcement of a number vaccines that could lead to a return to normalcy, and to getting you back in the stands to support your beloved team.
2020 has impacted each of us as individuals and collectively as we experienced the world-changing event of what came to be known as Coronavirus. Life as we knew it came to a grinding halt as the global pandemic was identified as Covid-19, a new virus about which humanity knew nothing. Lockdown ensued and no one was quite sure what the future held. And although it has felt like eternity, the truth is that it’s been less than a year and we are already on the way out of the darkness thanks to the stellar efforts of the NHS, scientists, and researchers – as well as all of the essential workers who’ve kept our society running, day in and day out.
Sadly we have lost loved ones and legends, and we could never really grieve in a normal way. We’ve learned new terms such as ‘R rate’ and ‘furlough’ and our children have learned ‘social distance’ and ‘e-learning.’ Here at the club we continue to make decisions based on the current information we have and as difficult as it has been, we will exit this unprecedented time in a strong and stable position across the board. Most importantly, the very second we are allowed, we are ready to welcome you back to Dens and can do so in a safe and healthy environment.
As all of us were shaken by the events of the year it was heartening to see the support we received to sustain the club. From the creation of and fantastic support from the 1893 Foundation, to the selfless acts of the players and staff….it’s all been for the good of our club.
The depths of devotion to Dundee FC were proven in many ways, from our outstanding and ongoing commercial support from Crown Engineering, Kilmac, Blue 2, Scott Fyffe Motors, MKM Building Supplies, John Clark BMW Tayside, Gilson Gray, Sturrock Electrical and many others, to the tireless efforts from Dee Promotions’ Graham and Alison, to DFC Direct’s Alan Provan, who modified operations to deal within the ever-changing environment to bolster the Club in the best way that they can. The Scottish Government, the SFA and the SPFL did their part as well. And, true to form, our amazing and dedicated fans showed Dundee and Scotland that their blood runs Dark Blue, doing all that they could – whilst enduring their own difficulties – to support the club in various ways. It is all very uplifting and very welcomed.
The Football Department, led by Technical Director Gordon Strachan, Manager James McPake, Assistant Manager Dave Mackay and Academy Director Stephen Wright had to do a major pivot in order to productively deliver our agendas. We relied upon technology to allow us to implement programs that helped to keep our players progressing in their football and planning for the future. Several fun and informative Zoom events broke up the monotony of the restrictions that were imposed until we could get back on the pitch. The first team continues to grow stronger with an impressive unbeaten run to end of the year 2020. Always wanting more success, we are confident that the staff will continue to progress the team to our goal of promotion.
The Academy benefitted from the selfless acts of many of our coaches during the challenging months, and is now going from strength to strength under the guidance of Stephen Wright and Gordon. There is a very bright future for the Academy with an announcement coming in January that will give our young players increased opportunities. We are excited to share this news with you and pleased that it has come to fruition after several years of planning. Watch this space!
DFC in the Community Trust has emerged from the chaos as an even stronger programme and 2021 will see the offers provided to our community to be expanded, inclusive and responsive at a time when they are needed more than ever. Under the leadership of Greg Fenton and with the guidance of the Trustees, programmes have been modified to be delivered in a safe and healthy way. Most recently the Trust lifted the spirits of community members with the delivery of 50 hampers by our players as part of the Festive Friends programme. Normally the participants would enjoy a Christmas dinner at Dens, and in 2021 we hope to return to that tradition. Check the website www.dfccommunitytrust.org.uk for details of all of the programmes on offer for everyone. A massive ‘job well done and keep it going’ to Trust Manager Greg Fenton and all of the trustees, Craig, Gerard, Ian, Pam, and Lindsay, all of whom generously give their time and efforts in support of the Trust.
As we say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021 and all its promise, we must acknowledge and thank the amazing staff who all work selflessly behind the scenes to make this club what it is, and of course a massive thank you to all of the fans who have supported the club and our efforts throughout. Long may it continue. Here’s wishing all of you every success, health, happiness and all of the best for 2021!
John Nelms and the Board of Directors