Sunday 15th May 2022
IT’S been a good weekend for Stevie Farrell.
Within eight days of Dumbarton’s relegation to cinch League Two being confirmed, nine players have become 12. He could already, at least in theory, make a full team.
Ally Love and Brett Long have been welcomed to the club for the first time; David Wilson has been welcomed back to it.
But the gaffer wants more – and may be about to get it.
A defender is expected to be the next to join Sons, with talks underway with other signing targets.
Stevie, though, is keen for further recruits, with one of the nine weeks between the end of one season and the start of another already past.
Speaking to dumbartonfootballclub.com, Stevie said: “It’s been good to get the business done very early. We started planning last Saturday and we have been lucky enough to secure three players we identified.
“I think we can expect more in the coming weeks. We have been working on a few which haven’t necessarily come off yet, because you are engaging with players and agents and sometimes they are waiting on other clubs.
“But we do need to strengthen. We have nine players signed up from last season but are not sure they will all stay. We need to bring in a fair number – certainly double figures, so it has been a good start.
“A defender, who has been away on a stag weekend, will be signing soon all being well, and we are working on numerous others.”
Three players from last season have yet to give answers to contract offers made to them – Kristoffer Syvertsen, George Stanger and Paddy Boyle.
The gaffer gave an update on all three.
He continued: “We have spoken to Kristoffer and we need to get the balance right with his fitness issues. He is travelling to Norway tomorrow and once he has the medical opinions he needs, we will speak again.
“We must ensure he is OK, so we will see where it goes and we will continue to talk to him.
“George and I have the same agent, so I am always talking to him. We are working hard on that but he is looking at full-time offers too.
“I am in constant contact and will be the first to know when George has made a decision about his future.”
For Boyle, the situation is different, with a player/coach offer on the table.
Stevie said: “The player/coach role we have offered Paddy is primarily a coaching role as opposed to a playing one, and that might not suit him.
“The decision is with him, and it is a hard one – I have been there myself. At 34 or 35 you maybe don’t want to let go of your playing career. It depends how he feels over the next few days.
“I like to give players an opportunity in coaching, because 10 or 12 years ago somebody gave me my first opportunity.
“I broke Frank McKeown into coaching and he is my assistant. I broke Jamie Hamill into coaching and he is now Stranraer manager.
“I am part of the managers’ association in Scotland and it is felt it is important to give players a foot on the coaching ladder.
“I have always identified Paddy as somebody I have liked, and he is well-respected in the dressing room among the players.”
With Bonnyrigg Rose and Annan Athletic taking the last two places over the weekend, the line-up for cinch League Two in season 2022/23 is now complete.
Targets for the season may be clearer – but an evening at the Dumbarton Football Stadium last night has given Stevie further motivation for Sons to do well.
He added: “All 10 teams will be the same with what they are aiming for. I have only managed in cinch League Two once and Queen’s Park were what I call a ‘monster’ team, the same as Kelty Hearts last season.
“I don’t think there is any such team this time around. If a team gets recruitment right, they will feel that they can make a challenge, and we are no different.
“Everything we are doing is working towards our return to training on Thursday, June 16, and we will work from there.
“We are working hard to rectify a lot of wrongs that people felt were there last season, and we have an opportunity to put them right.
“The fact the club is in its 150th year will absolutely form part of everything. I attended the 50th anniversary championship dinner last night and it was humbling to listen to the stories.
“You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t sit there and think: ‘Could this be our year?’.”
Dumbarton Football Club