DAFC plans for the ChampionshipDate: Monday, 24th Apr 2023
DAFC needs to focus on next year`s plan to seal Championship presence.
After a year full of Robbie Mahon`s heroics and other big moments, the Pars managed to get their heads back into the game and escape League One. The relegation was a terrible setback, no matter how you look at it and serves as a grim warning of what could happen.
But improvements involve much more than just bolstering the first-team squad. The Championship is a merciless league, so we`ll need to muster everything we have. But what does this involve, exactly? In any case, if you`re going to take punts on the next few games, Bookmakers.bet provides you with operators offering high odds.
That`s precisely what we`ll look at today. Aside from analysing the club`s needs and potential dangers DAFC can find itself in, we`ll look at how we managed to make up for that awful Playoff loss to Queen`s Park. After all, things aren`t just doom and gloom, and we ought to praise the team for their wise decision-making and valiant charge towards the League One title.
Dunfermline has secured the promotion to the Championship
We were already predicted to take home the crown at the end of March, but it was still too early to make predictions or assumptions. Falkirkk was 8 points away until the lads dispatched Montrose in a decent 3-1 showing.
While the win all but confirmed our conquering of League One, it`s a shame Deniz Mehmet was denied his Individual Clean-Sheet Record. Nevertheless, our number one was reliable as ever and set up a good foundation for the last few matches.
Kelly Hearts put up quite a fight at East End Park and left with a much-need point. Things weren`t much better away at Falkirk, where an exciting 2-2 clash only ended up with a single point. Even though the lads only had one loss up to that point, the success caused a bit of complacency. Thankfully, April 11 saw us quickly dispatch Peterhead, with Todorov and Wighton sinking them in a matter of 10 minutes.
At this point, the suspense was killing everyone. Fans appreciated what the team has done, but we wanted to exorcise last season`s demons as quickly as possible. All the bookies had low odds of us winning against Queen of the South.
Dunfermline saved their best for last, clinching the League One Championship in a 5-0 obliteration of Queen of the South. The Doonhammers may have been in form but stood no chance against the mighty Dumps.
Craig Wighton once again confirmed why he was one of the most important players of the season, alongside Matty Todd, Joe Chalmers and the mercurial Lewis McCann. But all this success will only be worthwhile if the club can establish itself in the Championship.
The significance of configuring a clear plan for the next season
McPake and Mackay have repaid the fans` trust and continued to push onward, despite the unfortunate relegation. The key to the immediate turnaround was the collective attitude of `one game at a time.`
Hearing from the players and the management, it was apparent they were severe and didn`t want to pounce too early. Nobody even dared to mention the word `promotion` until right before the clash against the Queen of the South. This humble approach helped everyone stay focused, making the celebrations even sweeter.
Paul Allan also bolstered the ranks in March, making the squad even more complete. With the current season effectively over, it`s time to forego these signs of positivity and shift the focus to the future. Next year in the Championship definitely won`t be easy, but Pars can prevent any dimwitted mistakes in several ways. The board should renegotiate contracts with expiring players and immediately identify glaring needs.
Moreover, DAFC must invest in youth, and that`s the only way to keep the club sustainable. Of course, there will be situations where emergency purchases must be made, but that should only happen in rare cases. Therefore, developing young players will pay off financially and in terms of establishing themselves in the Championship. And that establishing process must begin from the day this season ends.
Otherwise, we might become a yo-yo club. This is straining not only for the players but also for the Dunfermline faithful. It`s hard to plan budgets, transfers and anything else if the club`s existence depends on whether they can squeeze out a couple of points on the last matchday. Next year, we don`t expect them to top the table, of course, but the least they can do is escape the playoffs and finish in 8th.
What are the key areas the board should focus on
David Cook has been cooking, and it`s not even the end of the season. He recently hired ex-Viking Cruises executive Alister Burn as the club`s new commercial manager. Despite being a backroom role, it`s a much-needed step in the right direction. Just as the club has returned to the Championship, we must be more aggressive commercially. And with an experienced executive like Burn, the Pars can do just that.
Next up on the list of priorities is team culture. According to the Courier, the lads have been mentality monsters throughout this League One season, they need to turn this into something permanent. All those positive news stories will be in vain if they fail to display consistent effort in the Championship. Tactics and fitness must also improve, lest we want to face the Playoff pressure once again.
The manager has shown he`s worth Cook`s trust, so it`d be best to let McPake do his management and respect his wishes in the transfer market. And that `one game at a time` approach is something we ought to include in the club`s fabric. We tend to expect a surprise season to stave off the fears of another relegation, but that`s not entirely realistic. If we avoid the relegation Playoff, the season will be a success because DAFC will have something to build on.
Who knows, maybe it`ll even lead to a promotion sometime soon.