Thursday 10th June 2021
JOE MCKEE is back – as fit as he’s been in previous close seasons.
If there were 13 words to inspire optimism at Dumbarton, those wouldn’t be far off the mark.
Not when, having put in 15 assists during a truncated season in his first spell with the club, he is now back for more.
The midfielder was a player Sons were sorry to lose at the end of the 2019/20 season, with Queen of the South giving him a shot at full-time football.
So now that he is signed on for two years at the Rock, he is aiming to continue where he left off with the club.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Joe said: “I’m delighted to be coming back. I was there a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the season even though it was cut short by Covid.
“I know Frank McKeown and he said to me Dumbarton were interested in bringing me back. We had a couple of chats and then I spoke to the manager (Stevie Farrell).
“As soon as I did that, I was excited about signing. He’s obviously a really good coach and everything I’ve heard from others who’ve worked with him, they’ve said nothing but positive things.
“Firstly, it’s important that the team wins games and does well. If I can contribute with assists or goals then that’s even better, but it’s the team’s performance that matters most.
“It’s early doors in terms of preparation, but we start pre-season on Saturday and have a few friendlies coming up, then the League Cup section to come, which we’re looking forward to.
“There will be more signings and it’s just a case of trying to gel as quickly as we can. The last couple of seasons, wherever I’ve been, it’s been almost a whole new dressing room.
“So that can take a bit of time to come together and for the players to get used to how each other plays, but hopefully we can get good players in and we can gel as soon as possible.”
Joe had continued to progress in the Championship with Queens last season – until it was ended for several weeks.
Unlike Dumbarton, that wasn’t due to the shutdown of the season, but due to an injury he picked up in training.
He’s now fully recovered – and when Sons return to training on Saturday, the gaffer can expect a signing who is very good to go.
Joe added: “I was playing regularly until the middle of January, then I picked up a calf injury in training and that set me back about seven or eight weeks.
“By the time I got back into it, it was the last four or five weeks of the season. When you miss eight weeks or longer and the season is coming to an end, it is tough to get back to full fitness.
“I definitely felt like I had a good season up to that point. I’ve been doing a bit more training over the last couple of weeks after taking a break, and this is probably the fittest I’ve been in the off season, certainly during recent years.
“Last year was a strange one with no fans in the grounds, and a lot of games felt as if they were reserve fixtures.
“It would be a lot better to have the fans in this season, and I know how good the Dumbarton fans are.”