Yesterday’s official matchday programme included a New Year message from John Nelms and Tim Keyes.
The message from the owners can be read below.
Good afternoon everyone and welcome to the first match of 2020 in Ladbrokes Championship against Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club. We would like to extend a warm welcome to manager John Robertson, the directors, players, guests and fans of The Pride of the Highlands to Kilmac Stadium at Dens Park this afternoon. I would also like to welcome to Kilmac Stadium our partners Switch Gas & Electric, Kilmac, Scott Fyffe Motors, Crown Engineering, and digital media partner Blue2.
2020 is going to be a big year for the club and as such we thought we would take a look back at the season leading up to this pinnacle year. This season started off with a new group of players and a new manager who needed to find their feet and gel as a team…a couple of good wins coupled with a sprinkle of bad losses. October rolled around and we seemed to find our footing, collecting nine points and Championship Player and Manager of the Month honours. November was one for the fans to forget and a month for hard lessons to be learned for both players and staff. But December saw the team take on board the lessons and started performing as we expect from a Dundee side. Credit to the players, but also credit to James McPake and his staff for understanding the deficiencies and managing the changes that needed to be made to bring success back on the park in a consistent manner. It is good to see and support the development of a young manager like James learning each match and building on the successes.
We have also introduced a Technical Director this season in the form of ex-Scotland manager and former Dundee great Gordon Strachan. Gordon gives us an experienced, first class, top-to-bottom view of the football department. He is there, from a quiet word with the manager and players at all levels, to being involved on the pitch with the kids – and everything in between. One of his most important tasks along with Academy Director Stephen Wright is to bring our coaching staff to the highest level that it can be. Because the only thing that makes your Academy ‘elite’ is the staff that are training the players. Already we have seen the benefits of Gordon and Stephen working closely with our football staff as the levels of training and information to the players is higher than ever. We have also made strides to make playing for Dundee FC easier on our families with the introduction of vans that pick-up and drop-off players for their training sessions throughout and beyond the City. Add the new facility at the Regional Performance Centre and we have the recipe to give our young players every opportunity to make it to the next level and pulling on a first team shirt on Saturdays.
Over the years since we have been entrusted with the Football Club, the amount of improvements to the infrastructure of the club and facilities has been staggering, but the slow steady growth puts us in a far better sustainable position as a club and a company for it. We have added two new training facilities (the RPC and Michelin) and upgraded a third facility by adding DFC-only pitches at Riverside. New women’s toilets in the South Enclosure, new laundry facility, new electrical system, new sound system, new IT systems, new sprinkler system, new fire protection system, new gym, new offices, new pitch each year, upgrades to the lounges and kitchens, new showers, new changing rooms, new DeeTV, new website, new Dee Promotions online lottery system DeeLotto, new kit supplier, new and more efficient ticketing system….the list goes on and on. This is the benefit of stability, and that is what we promised nearly seven years ago, and now our enduring commitment takes us into a new decade. As such, 2020 will see the application being submitted for the New Stadium complex near Camperdown Park. Most of the obstacles that were set before us have been sorted and it is time to kick on and get this thing built.
We also have also introduced a New Charity, DFC in the Community Trust, which has found its feet in a big way as 2020 will see double the community programmes being delivered here in our community where it is needed most. New programmes include ‘Your Dee Future’ and, ‘a Walk, a Blether and a brew’ – our Community Health Walks added to the expansion of the schools programmes, FFIT, the Memories Groups, and much more. Check the website www.dfccommunitytrust.org.uk for more details of all of the programmes that might suit you in your area. 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, who generously give their time and efforts to offer such great programmes.
Finally, 2020 is going to be a big year for the club but we could not do it without the amazing staff who all work tirelessly 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 going into what is our seventh year – and long may it continue. Here is wishing all of you every success and all of the best for 2020!