‘It’s great to be back’ says Kidsgrove Athletic’s new manager Scott Dundas



SCOTT Dundas says it’s great to be back at the club he has so many fond memories of.

Dundas was appointed as the new Kidsgrove Athletic manager yesterday morning and although there’s no telling when he’ll be able to see his new team in action, he’s looking forward to the challenge.

With all football suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, it could be weeks or even months before he gets to work with the squad of players left behind following the departure of Ryan Austin last week.

But Dundas says he’ll be ready for action when the leagues are able to start playing again.

“It’s a strange feeling in a way, being appointed manager of a football club that can’t play any football at the moment, but that’s the way it has to be for the safety of everyone,” said Dundas, who is no stranger to the surroundings of Hollinwood Road.

As a former player, he once scored 53 goals in one season during the 1997/98 campaign, having joined the club in 1992 when Peter Ward was in charge, another club legend, and says it’s great to be back.

“I’ve got lots of fond memories of my time here before as a player, so I’m hoping I’ll have the same fond memories as a manager,” said Dundas, who will have former Kidsgrove player and manager Ant Buckle as his assistant and will also have Dave Hamnett on board as part of the management team. All three have worked together before.

Dundas is also bringing in former Kidsgrove goalkeeper Scott Bentley to work as goalkeeper coach.

“I’m going to have a good team working with me. Ant was with me at Chasetown and I worked with Dave at Norton United and Newcastle Town. As for Scott, he’s a good lad to have around the place and was a great keeper in his time,” said the 46-year-old, who was in charge of BetVictor South East side Chasetown until he left by mutual agreement last month.

“I had three great years at Chasetown. We reached the play-offs in my first year, but the last two were a bit of a struggle, especially last season. I signed players from south of the county, but we ended up playing mostly teams from the north west. I signed players from the north of the county and we were switched to the south east division, so again it meant extra travelling for players and it was difficult to get them to sign. But it was a good club to be at,” said Dundas, who will perhaps feel more comfortable in his new surroundings, having managed four clubs from the area.

He had a successful spell in charge of Norton United and lead them to the North West Counties League Premier Division title in the 2013/14 season, winning 32 of their 42 games to reach the 100-point mark and with that, promotion to the Evo-Stik League.

Norton also reached the first round of the FA Cup in November 2014, a huge crowd turning up at their Community Drive headquarters in Smallthorne, but they bowed out of the competition after losing 4-0 to Conference club Gateshead.

Dundas said at the time: “For Norton to be in the first round is something you’d never even have dreamed of. I can’t put into words the commitment the lads put in to get here. Now we’ve just got to keep this fairytale going against Gateshead.”

In Norton’s first season in the Evo-Stik Division One South, Norton finished 11th but the second season ended in disappointment when the club folded after being told that they could no longer use the facilities at Community Drive.

Dundas was appointed manager of Evo-Stik First Division North Witton Albion before leaving after 10 games at the helm and taking over at Alsager Town a few weeks later in October.

When the Newcastle Town job became available, Dundas jumped at the chance, but later resigned and went to Chasetown, but then left his post by mutual consent in February after a 3-1 defeat at Worksop Town.

But his only focus now is Kidsgrove Athletic. “It seems the right time to get back into management and hopefully with the right club. I know the chairman (Mick Fitzjohn), the vice-chairman (Ian Cooper) and several other people involved with Kidsgrove, so it was quite an easy decision for me to make.

“I’ve not had a chance to speak to the players face to face for obvious reasons, but I will be speaking to them by telephone.

“Ryan has left a good squad here, one I would like to make good use of and maybe add here and there, but it’s a good base to work from,” added Dundas who runs his own business Gator Events, but like a lot of companies is feeling the pinch of the pandemic. The business organises events such as The Gator Mud Run, the Betley Banger 5k and 10k races and also provides the medical back-up.

It’s only been running since the turn of the year, but things have been put on hold.

“Because of the virus all events have been postponed and we don’t know when we will be up and running again. The business has taken a massive hit, but we’re not on our own there. It’s a frustrating situation, but there’s nothing we can do about it. The health and welfare of people is far more important,” said Dundas.

In welcoming Dundas to the club, vice-chairman Ian Cooper said: “The club are extremely pleased with Scott’s appointment and given Scott’s history with the club I’m sure it will be popular with our supporters as well.

“With all clubs facing uncertain times, Scott will be given time to build the team he wants, to play the football he wants to play.”





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