Wednesday 25th December 2019

ANOTHER Christmas Day has come and is almost gone.

I can still recall the days when December 25 was a day for playing football – for many Dumbarton fans, a match against St Mirren in 1971 will spring readily to mind.

However, those days are now long gone, and this day of the year is now firmly established as a time for us all to be together with the ones to whom we are closest.

I trust this message finds you all having enjoyed today to the fullest extent possible, and I echo the sentiments of our captain and manager earlier today by wishing you all the very best for the festive season.

While I was writing this article, I was looking forward to spending the day with my nearest and dearest, and I know that Jim Duffy, his staff and his players were set to do likewise with their families.

However, tomorrow they are back on the training pitch as we continue our league season with an important fixture at home to Stranraer on Saturday.

It demonstrates the hard work and commitment of our players and management that there has not been a word of complaint at training on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

We are in a good place right now. We felt very hard done by at not taking full points against Falkirk last month, and since then we have never looked back.

It has culminated in us having a William Hill Scottish Cup tie at Aberdeen to look forward to next month, and in a much healthier league position than many onlookers predicted for us at the start of the season.

There is still half of the league campaign to go and deep down, we all know that anything can, and more than likely will, happen between now and the last game of our scheduled league season on Saturday, May 2.

While that can be construed positively it can also be interpreted as a warning. If we are to maintain our hunt to be successful in this season’s League One, we are going to need to keep working ferociously hard, on and off the pitch.

I am certain of that from our players and management, and I am certain of it from you, the fans as well.

The way you have stuck with us through the difficult and more enjoyable times this season is admirable. After the hefty defeat at Falkirk on matchday two, a 380-mile round trip to Peterhead the next week may well not have seemed terribly appetising.

But you travelled in your numbers to Balmoor Stadium and since then, we have kicked on.

We have 18 more league matchdays to make this a memorable season for the club and I know you will continue to support us.

As well as attending matches, make purchases from the club shop, come along to our Burns supper on Friday, January 31, and if you are not a season ticket holder already, consider purchasing a half season ticket which is still available from the shop.

It all helps at Dumbarton, where the untold riches we see at the highest levels of the game can only be a pipe dream. Whatever contribution you can make to supporting your local club, it is valuable and appreciated.

For now, though, we hope you and your family have had a good Christmas Day, and that you will continue to enjoy whatever time you have away from your workplace over the festive season.

Please be mindful that there are those who may not have been as fortunate as yourself. They may be in poor health, they may have struggled to afford Christmas for themselves or their families, they may be spending their first Christmas without a loved one who they miss terribly. They might even not have a home to spend tonight.

Please give these people their place in your thoughts on this special day, and cherish the time you have with those who you love this Christmas.

We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday, and for the rest of the season, and thank you for your continued support.

John Steele

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