LAWRIE Dunn has pledged to bring in “as many Borders players as possible” after being appointed as the new manager of Coldstream.
The 38 year-old from Mayfield, near Dalkieth, faces a huge rebuilding job in his first managerial post following a turbulent few months at Home Park, and with pre-season training just a month away and a threadbare squad of players who have been attracting interest from other clubs, the former Kelso United defender’s work will begin right away.
Dunn’s appointment was confirmed on Tuesday after he was interviewed on Monday night and brings to an end a two-week period of uncertainty at the East of Scotland League club since the sacking of Mike Galloway after just three weeks in the job.
Secretary and acting chairman Allan Wilson and the club’s committee have acknowledged that appointing Galloway to replace outgoing manager Mark Lamb was a mistake, and are now putting their faith in Dunn to restore stability, build a squad and prepare for the new season which begins on August 6.
“I am delighted to have been appointed manager of a club of Coldstream’s stature,” said Dunn. “I can’t wait to get started and I’m hoping to put together a team capable of competing in the First Division. There will be players coming in from the Edinburgh area, but I’m looking to attract as many Borders players as possible. I would like to thanks Allan Wilson and the Coldstream committee for this fantastic opportunity.”
Dunn played junior and East of Scotland League football for most of his playing career, enjoying stints at Haddington, Pencaitland, Gala Fairydean, Tranent and Easthouses Lily before joining Kelso United midway through season 2009/2010.
Ambitious to move into coaching and management, Dunn left Kelso after 18 months at Woodside Park in April to take up a player-coach role at Pumphertson and played regularly for the South Division junior outfit in a fixture-heavy final few weeks of the season.
Dunn plans to register himself as a player for the forthcoming season, but intends to manage from the dugout rather than the pitch. Phil Johnson, who took charge of the final two games of the season after Galloway fell out with the committee and was then scouting for new players, has agreed to stay on as player-coach.
Coldstream will also retain their Edinburgh-based under-19 team run by manager Dougie Neave and assistant Bryn Butler.
Dunn wants some of the players who are too old for the under-19s to make the step up to the first team and will be trying his best to retain some of the existing squad, many of whom have been asked to join Lamb at his new club, Lothian Thistle.
Meanwhile, Wilson, who has also been acting chairman since the departure of Jim McLean in March, has announced his intention to stand down from the committee ahead of the annual general meeting, which takes place on Monday.
“I’ll still be around cleaning the place and getting the kit for games,” said Wilson, who has had an association with Coldstream on and off for 40 years.
“I’ll continue to support the team, but I just feel I need some time to myself without the commitment of having to do it.”