Supporters Groups Meeting 22 November 2022Date: Tuesday, 22nd Nov 2022
Supporters Groups Meeting, 22nd November 2022
East End Park
Leading the meeting: Drew Main, SLO David Cook, CEO and Chairman James McPake, First Team Manager Attendees: Stephen & Garry, The Pars 1885 Business Group Alasdair, DASC Jason, for aw they braw banners he does / NW Section Mike, East End Bounce Stewart, DAFC Heritage Trust Colin, Rosyth Supporters Kelly, The Pars Foundation Karen, Centenary Club & PST John, DADSC Ben, NW Section / Pars Review
David Cook kicked off the meeting, in the absence of James McPake who was stuck in traffic on the bypass from Edinburgh DC, remarking on the reserves match this afternoon HIBS 0-2 DAFC HOSLER played as a sweeper, HOGGAN left back, the lads played really well. Hibs were supposed to be a force to be reckoned with but we won 2-0 with SUTHERLAND and BREEN scoring both goals. Moving on to the league: SEVEN clean sheets in EIGHT away games - lots of positives to take from the first eleven. SEVEN points clear, really pleased, nearly half the season in, really delighted.
I expected a more up and down scenario; still got to show some patience, as we change and turn around the mentality of losing / drawing matches, look back on as it as a really good point; great defensive work, James wants us to be really well organised.
PHYSIO TOM SCANLON has gone (back) to Hibernian; a new person has accepted the role with us (and will be announced at a later date), and will be coming from a premier league club. We took TOM from hibs so it was difficult to keep him when he wanted to return, but very thankful to his attitude and professionalism. ALAN MAIN decided to move on, he doesn`t want to work in football anymore, we are afoot to replace; Players: PAUL ALLAN has a recurrent injury, has had his operation on his metatarsal, 8-12 weeks out, such a blow to the team and the club, gutted for PAUL, he gets the full support as he starts his rehabilitation; LEWIS MCCANN is ahead of schedule, hope to have him back for XMAS and KEVIN O`HARA for Christmas too;
TRANSFER WINDOW - We have plans already for January - adding quality which we don`t have right now, not adding bodies for the sake of it, really for the final third of the season, who can do something different, being offered a shed load of players, making our way through that, jumping on calls with Germany, loads of work going on behind the scenes; The crowds have been magnificent - 4,500 for Clyde, Falkirk was fabulous, friends from Australia seeing the videos of the fans they were really chuffed;
THIRD TOP - "MARMITE" strip (LOL) - 50% sold so happy it`s gone down well with the fans; ACADEMY, working with Scottish Water, getting to the bottom of challenges they put forward, not a huge amount further forward with that, weather hasn`t been helpful to get machines on field, our costs mean training elsewhere, get it operational as soon as possible, good to see the foundation and academy levels in front of us; We are putting together a CHRISTMAS "hardship fund" to buy christmas presents for families who are struggling, and most needed at this time, spreading the word, any support and help we would appreciate, shaking buckets etc - to be advertised at a later date;
VOLUNTEERS who go above and beyond what a lot of normal fans do, we RECOGNISE it`s the same group for the last ten years or so, we are going to have a night in the PURVIS SUITE a "speed dating" style for volunteers so we can promote to fans who want to help, eg the academy to help with the lads, if you have a driving licence to bus the lads to the college etc, SOCIAL MEDIA support, PLUMBERS, JOINERS, etc - if you have skills we need you, it`s REWARDING doing VOLUNTEERING, they can help the club and get such enjoyment out of it, perhaps one evening a week and through the day, a bit of time, hunger and skillsets which we can use to help the community.
STEPHEN TAYLOR has joined the Board, qualified accountant, helping guide us through the league - we are very appreciative of his efforts and ideas he has already put forward. A great appointment. COSTS - trying to get the best possible cost effective solution but we won`t compromise on the big things, the aspects we need for a training ground, huge spiralling costs for labour not just for us, the architect wanted originally £1,500-£2,000 per sqm now £4k per sqm, we have got to address all the financial aspects of this, we have a duty to the club and to all of you in how we all address these issues, phase 1 is to allow football operations,
then time line to develop the facilities, no dramatic compromise not going to have an astro, nothing has changed in my mind, the Board, the GmbH group, long term development for the future, the Germans are probably more frustrated, there`s always thngs to come up, learn to accept it and deal with the frustration, when we took it on we were in the Championship looking up now we`re in League One and have to acknowledge the financial situation and restrictions that brings, we have to be prudent, I don`t want to be the guy who says in 10 years omg what did we do with Rosyth;
HALBEATH ROAD, the script there is after 30 years of Fife Police helping us on Halbeath Road , and also at Starks Park for Raith Rovers, now no police helping after matches; we have written to Police Scotland and continue to have conversations with them, put 4-7k on that street and it`s a massive safety issue; the safety of the supporters is tantamount; the procedure the club has to deal with this : applies every year for a TTTO, the council approve and it goes to the police - A STEWARD has been hit by a car at ROVERS, and we have been using this as an example to lobby for a change on their decision.
We share your frustration, we will continue to beat the drum about it, the club have been told it`s resources. My heart is in my mouth whenever I see fans crossing the road to the bus stop post match especially our disabled, and wheelchair, supporters, and, at this time of year when it`s dark come 4pm. No one wants to see / read about an accident that is waiting to happen. The consensus in the room tonight was "are the Police only going to act when one actually does happen?"
JAMES MCPAKE does a presentation on the match analsysis: "This side of the game excites me, from Dave (Honeyman), from Monty, I look back at my time at Dundee, on how we work, the Friday before an away game - at a hotel, we watch the analysis, an ex player introduced this programme to me when I was in England, normally 8-9 mins of watching the stats is plenty for the team, then we go and work on it, showing on the tv the parts of the pitch where we want WIGHTON to play, where to play HAMILTON.
We didn`t go to FALKIRK to play a defensive game, we wanted the crowd behind us and to get on their midfielders` backs, it helped us. PETERHEAD (last Saturday) we wanted to shoot into the wind first half, we wanted to build from the back, we knew it was going to be 40mph winds, if it was 0-0 at HT then we would change it up, we defended on the halfway line in the second half because it worked for us, it doesn`t always work, the Sunday / Monday / next day were in why we would do this, ask the players if they have questions; the FALKIRK game was tough, we were in front of a good crowd, why are we sitting off them? we`re better than them, lots of way to win a game, it`s a lot more tactical, how to move into spaces, repetition and lots of passing between players to frustrate the opposition, watch our shape.
HAMILTON, purely tactical not starting him. Are the PLAYERS VOCAL? "yes, I was conscious of this when I came in, I wanted to be called James, not gaffer, be relaxed, after a relegation, put the music on, talk stories, let them talk.
THE PUDDLE JUMPING / SLIDING (at Pitreavie) shows team spirit, I thought OMG saturday morning they`re all going to be ill and DC is going to kill me! I`d never even contemplated doing that with any team before but the comradeship here is second to none, they deserved it, the backroom staff also got involved. It`s a great team building club. You saw how much it meant to them.
Our 4 loan PLAYERS - yes we would like to keep them, it`s looking likely, and we have seen others in this league that we have now got some interest in.
REVAMPED LIGHTS - there`s three lights in the floodlight that are needing replaced so those lights on the main stand are there until they`re fixed, to bring some light to that particular dark area of the pitch. Apologies to the brightness reflected on to the NW.
What`s your thoughts on VAR? - yes and no, the emotion you get when WIGHTON scores at the goal, waiting for it to be checked, does it take the emotion away, DC thinks we`ve gone too far with VAR, when you have to analyse an offside decision 50 times thats lost the benefit of the game, the atmosphere gone, JMCP - refs, don`t get me started. SFA are trying to get academies to put 16/18 year olds through their refereeing coaching.
NOTES handed to the players during the game - to tell them the positions / shouldn`t shout as the opposition manager / player will pick that up. (John asked if we could write "X is an idiot" and let the opposition player see it! hahaha)
PITREAVIE - training on the astro turf. Rosyth isn`t fit yet for this and the weather isn`t helping.
Do you think you`ll do too much (after hearing JMCP has watched the Falkirk goals 250 times and BURN OUT? - got systems in place so that doesn`t happen, do most of my calls in the car, spend more time with family, it`s a happy balance now, here.
PLAYER individuality - JAMES MCPAKE spoke of his friendship with LEE GRIFFITHS and the subsequent problems the player has had. He has known him a very long time, and they chat regularly. Both DC and JMCP said they appreciate the character of players, if it isn`t a good one and they don`t think that person will fit in they then have to make that decision; they spend time with each player on a personal level, and will give the player initiatives and confidence to ask the management questions.