Saturday 19th October 2019
WHEN some of Scotland’s best known footballers gave his new club a reference, Rico Quitongo knew he was doing the right thing.
With a little help from some friends, the Dumbarton defender has already made the left back position his own, helping secure a first league clean sheet of the season at Stranraer on Saturday.
It may not have been a victory, but the draw was enough to move Sons into fourth place and keep the three teams above them in sight.
The Quitongo name is not entirely unfamiliar at Dumbarton. The club is one of many that Rico’s dad Jose played for in Scotland, taking in three games in 2006.
He was one of many that Rico sought advice from, but there were others, including a recent Scotland goalscorer.
Speaking to www.dumbartonfootballclub.com, Rico said: “I’m loving it at Dumbarton, especially as it’s the first time I’ve been with a senior team.
“All the boys have been great with me and I know Jim Duffy from when he managed my brother (Jai) at Morton. Everybody has been brilliant.
“I was in at Queen of the South for training in pre-season. They played against Airdrie and Jim sat with my brother to watch that game.
“I played 45 minutes and did reasonably well. I’d then been due to play for Dumbarton against Dunfermline but that game was cancelled.
“So I played for Queens again that night and I don’t think they were that interested. The gaffer said to come and play for Dumbarton against Dundee United and I was more than happy to do that.
“The manager is one of the big reasons I came here but I know from my dad that it’s a great club. I spoke to Stephen Dobbie about it as well. He said he loved it there.
“I also know players like Eamonn Brophy, Sam Wardrop and Stuart Findlay, who have played for Dumbarton and really enjoyed it.”
Having taken a point at what is habitually a tough venue, Sons return home to face Peterhead next Saturday.
There were chances to win the game at Stair Park, but those will be consigned to history if the end product is there next week instead.
And Rico is hopeful that the same spirit shown in the previous game against Peterhead, when Sons fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, can replicate itself.
He added: “It was a tough game to play in. When you come to Stranraer there’s always a possibility that you’ll drop points as they are a good team at home.
“We were physical and should have nicked it as Isaac Layne had a great effort saved. It was a hard game but we have come away with a decent result.
“For all of the back four it’s pleasing to get our first clean sheet of the season in the league, and Conor Brennan did great in goal as well.
“We did great against Forfar in our previous game and we’d been wanting to play again straight away, so it was good to get back out there. Training has been really good as well.
“We now move on to face Peterhead. It’s a home game on Saturday and we need to use that to our advantage.
“I think people underestimated us a bit at the start of the season and now know that we’re good enough to cause teams danger.
“At Peterhead the first goal came quickly and we kept the resilience going. It was vital to get it when we did and the manager just told us to go out in the second half and show what we were all about.
“We’ve just kept our heads up, got our sleeves up and worked hard.”
Rico also went down with an injury late in the game, but said: “I picked up a knock against Forfar but the physio has treated it well.
“I felt a bit of fatigue in my calf today, but I’ll be good to go on Tuesday at training.”