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Congratulations Stevie and Sparky!

January 11, 2017

BOOM, bust…and Bonnyrigg.

In those few words, you can sum up the year of 2016 for Dumbarton. In fact, you can probably sum up the final 25 days of it.

Tuesday, December 6 was an evening which will be recalled with horror for many years. For Huntly a quarter of a century ago, read Bonnyrigg Rose, the junior side who claimed a fully deserved Scottish Cup victory at Dumbarton.

Stevie Aitken left the pitch that night listening to the venom that comes the way of many a manager on the receiving end of that sort of result. Mark Docherty was one of the players he had to rehabilitate, and work together with to make things better – quickly.

Three and a half weeks later they walked off having claimed the season’s second victory over Dundee United, Sparky having scored the winner in each of them. It was also a result which made it seven points from the last nine, and put daylight between Sons and the Championship’s bottom two places.

And now, with the hearty congratulations of all at DFC and the Sons Supporters Trust, they have been rewarded for that with the league’s manager and player of the month accolades. Prizes which, four weeks ago, seemed eons away.

Boom and bust indeed. 2016 was a year when one extreme became another more times than most.

The club website’s recent countdown of the top 10 moments of the year wasn’t difficult to compile. Games which failed to make the cut included December’s victories over Queen of the South and Falkirk.

Even the goalless draw against Dundee, on only the club’s second trip into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup since the 1980s, didn’t get in.

It would, though, have been just as easy to chart the most forgettable moments of the year, and make it a countdown to match or beat several years. Conceding five goals or more four times before July was out (although none for the rest of the year). Failure to win any of six cup ties against lower league opposition, allied to two such outcomes in 2015. And Bonnyrigg – grrrr…

But everybody at DFC prefers to remember it as the year when Dundee United and St Mirren were beaten twice, one of the victories over the latter securing survival. Hibs and Falkirk, too, have left the Rock with nothing on one visit.

For every time to say ‘I was there’ in a hushed, reserved voice, there is at least one to say it with real pride.

And while we are now into a New Year, the season is only at its halfway point and its goal has not changed.

The Sons team which lost to Huntly in 1992 went on to…actually, we won’t tell you that. That campaign is being documented in Sons View this season to mark its 25th anniversary and if you don’t want to know the ending, we won’t spoil it for you.

They picked themselves up from that loss, responded and met their target. Whether the class of 2016/17 reach their goal ultimately won’t be known until May.

However, the other elements of that sentence have been done with some vigour since the evening of Tuesday, December 6. They say that if you’re going through hell, keep going and the rewards will follow. It’s happened as a result of the first class effort over recent games.

And with Hibs coming to the Rock on Saturday, nobody wants it to end yet.

Congratulations Stevie, and Mark. These are honours you have earned and fully deserve.

Twenty-four hours of football now stand between them, the rest of DFC, and an even bigger prize.

If, after the remaining 16 Championship matches, there are at least two teams below Sons in the table, there will only be one ‘B’ word for everybody.

Bring, or in full – bring on season number six in the second tier.

Man of the Match v Dundee Utd

January 6, 2017

MARK Docherty picked up his fourth Sonstrust man of the match award for his outstanding contribution to DFC’s tremendous win against Dundee United on Hogmanay.

In the end it was an easy puick for trust member David Ferguson who is pictured with Sparky post match.

Photo by Alistair Thorn.

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Trust Travel – Ayr United (Xmas Eve)

December 18, 2016

SUPPORTERS bus bookings are now being taken for Sons next away day at Somerset (v Ayr Utd) on 24th December 2016.

With the game having an early kick-off time at Somerset (12.30pm), we’ll be leaving Church St in Dumbarton at 10am.

Our usual booking procedure applies – 4 ways!

1. Call Tommy Hughes on 07710 771341
2. E-mail memsecy@sonstrust.net
3. Use our dedicated Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/719497688160601/
4. Leave a comment on this post

Man of the Match v Falkirk

December 18, 2016

motm-v-falkirk

TRUST member Graham Reid selected Robert Thomson as the Sonstrust man of the match for the big fella’s performance against Falkirk.

A popular choice! Well done Thommo!

Both Robert and Graham are picture (above) post-match.

Photo Alistair Thorn

Trust is Building for the Future

December 15, 2016

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THE Sonstrust is continuing its recruitment drive at the home game against Falkirk this Saturday – aiming to beat our record 357 membership and to top 400 next year.

With key decisions about a new stadium in the air, it is more vital than ever that our supporters have both a voice and a stakeholding in the future of the club. So please get as many of your family and friends to join up!

 

sonstrust-record

Trust Travel – Hibernian, 10th Dec 2016

December 4, 2016

We are now taking bookings for the next Trust Travel away day v Hibs on 10th Dec.

Our usual booking procedure applies – 4 ways!

1. Call Denise Currie on 07706 025820
2. E-mail secy@sonstrust.net
3. Use our dedicated Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/719497688160601/
4. Leave a comment on this post

Trust Stance in Stadium Discussions

December 2, 2016

sb-with-dfc-plans

THIS week’s Lennox Herald has an article setting out the position of the Sonstrust, reflecting the views and concerns of our members, about ongoing discussions with DFC’s owners about the current new stadium proposals. 

We are reproducing it here so that all supporters can see it. Comments welcome. The Herald‘s report of our general meeting on 23rd November is online here.

The developers’ display boards are also reproduced below and open to further comment. We are collating all fans’ responses to the development proposal and taking up the key issues on an ongoing basis. We will continue to report back, and we will also summarise press coverage and comment. The Lennox Herald article (Thursday 1st December) is as follows, with a picture by Andy Scott:

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IN last week’s Lennox Herald, Ian Wilson, a director of Dumbarton FC and lead representative of the club’s majority owners, Brabco 736, directly challenged the Sonstrust to give “vocal and written support” for plans to relocate the club’s stadium to a new site at Young’s Farm.

The trust, a registered provident society, is a shareholder in the club. We are represented on the club board, provide many services free of charge (including running the club’s website and match day programme), and act as the collective voice of Sons fans. We are glad, therefore, that the owners of Dumbarton FC recognise our importance, and that of the fans, for the club’s future.

Since a stadium move was first mooted three years ago, our position has been consistent and clear. We would back a realistic, sustainable proposal that demonstrably secures the future of the club, is in the interest of supporters, and benefits the local community and its environment.

Is the plan set out at the pre-planning consultation on 11th November and presented by Mr Wilson and his colleagues to supporters last Wednesday such a proposal? That is what we are in the process of finding out. Over 70 fans attended the Q&A session with Brabco and their planning consultant. The level of questioning was detailed and high.

We have received assurances that the entire liability for this development rests with the owners and not with the club. Also that the stadium is a ‘turnkey’ project – there will be no ground sharing prior to the move. Moreover, all proceeds from the use of the stadium for commercial purposes will go to the club, we are told. Those are positives that we will look to verify.

On the other hand, there was real concern at the disclosure last week that the club may not own the new stadium outright, but that it may be leased back over a long period on a peppercorn rent or equivalent. For many, that issue is a deal-breaker. Unsurprisingly, there are also questions about the practicality of the plan financially, about planning issues, and about what this development will mean for the club in terms of future direction and ownership.

The overriding priority of the supporters’ trust is to represent the interests of the fans and to seek the security of Dumbarton FC. We want to be positive about proposals that can take forward the club we love. But it is also our job to be vigilant. It is therefore the task of the owners, who are looking to profit from this development alongside the club, to convince West Dunbartonshire Council, Sons fans and the local community that what they are proposing really is a ‘win-win’ situation for all of us. We cannot and will not provide a ‘blank cheque’.

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Simon Barrow is an officer of the Sonstrust and its spokesperson on the stadium relocation issue. He has been a Dumbarton supporter since 1969. He is also chairman of the Scottish Football Supporters Association. You can email him here.

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