We’ve invited fans of the 42 SPFL clubs (well, some of them at least) to give us a preview of their team’s upcoming season. Let’s find out what Grant Hill thinks is in store for Dundee…
Last Season’s Position – 6th
This Season’s Prediction – 6th
Best Signing of the Summer So Far – Kevin Holt
With most of our new boys joining from the Championship or League One it’s hard to predict how they’ll handle the step-up, whether they’ll be a Scott Bain or a Phil Roberts. Kane Hemmings and Rory Loy have shown they know where the goal is but for me our (relatively) big money and (relatively) high profile capture of Queen of the South left back Kevin Holt, or ‘At least he’s not Willie Dyer’ as he’s already being called in some quarters, has strengthened our first XI more than any other individual signing.
Key Man- Greg Stewart
Our top half finish was effectively achieved on the back of one good run in the autumn and another in January-February. Greg Stewart was on fire at both times and he was deservedly nominated for the Premiership Player of the Year on the back of a brilliant first year as a full-time footballer. Stewart’s form did tail off after Emilio Izaguirre mistook his kidneys for a Mitre Delta and left him playing through the pain barrier for months but a summer’s convalescence and a better supporting cast will hopefully inoculate him against second season syndrome.
The Manager – Paul Hartley
The words “Dundee failed to add to the squad before the transfer window closed but can still sign free agents” used to be as predictable as they were depressing but no more as Paul Hartley likes to have rebuilt practically his whole team before the clocks go forward. Every season in his managerial career to date has seen him move upwards but pushing on or even standing still after a successful post-promotion year might be his toughest challenge yet. Will all come down to the success of his new signings and what he’s learned from his first year at this level.
No Dundee fan would have turned down a top 6 spot last summer but the caveat ‘you’ll be bent over by United four times and one shafting will be so severe it causes rectal prolapse’ would have given a few, myself included, pause for thought. We started last season with a clear system in mind but it was quickly apparent we didn’t have the players to play it. Hartley was pragmatic enough to change things but the resulting football left you wanting to scoop your eyes out at times. With such a big turnover in personnel once again and so many of the recruits untested at this level it’s hard to say with any certainty how we’ll do. Anything from 5th-10th seems possible but having scraped our way into the top half of the table at least consolidating has to be the aim. A lot will depend on if the last few quid in the budget can address an ongoing lack of width and pace while home form has to improve if any progress is to be made. An amendment to the club’s constitution prohibiting the recruitment of really shite German goalkeepers would also help.
About The Author
Grant Hill was born in Dundee in 1979 and has lived in the city ever since other than a brief period when the Alan Kernaghan regime had him seeking refuge in various European countries. He is the author of ‘Clubbed to Death’, in which he makes jokes about mirrorballs, the Happy Mondays and Jimmy Savile.