Dunfermline Athletic

James McPake named SPFL League One Manager of the Season

Thursday, 11th May 2023

Congratulations to James McPake who has been named the SPFL League One Manager of the Season 2022/2023

Not only has James McPake led the Pars to the cinch League One title, the 38 year old manager has lifted the accolade as the division’s Manager of the Season.

Following a successful playing career with clubs in England and Scotland, James launched his coaching career at Dundee FC’s Academy before becoming First Team Manager in 2019. He was named as manager of Dunfermline Athletic on 24th May 2022.

In his first season in charge, Dunfermline have won 28, drawn 14 and lost just three times. They have also set numerous club records, losing only one match in the league campaign. James was delighted to receive the award and pointed out that these things do normally reflect a successful season:-

“It is not an old cliche, the award is for everyone at the football club. There is no way that trophy would be sitting there or the Manager of the Season would be at our football club had it not been for the tireless work of everyone. I’m not going to try and name everyone, because I will miss people out but from the ground staff to the media team, the medical department, hospitality and the players. Then the footballing staff who work with me.

“Each and everyone of them has played a huge part in the success that this club has had this season. Lastly and not least, the owners and the board who brought me to the football club and who have backed me. A thank you to all of them but I genuinely do mean that the award is for everyone at the football club.”

James made significant signings bringing in Kyle Benedictus and Chris Hamilton and within his first month ensured that his First Team Coach, Dave Mackay followed him from Dundee. Next signing was Max Little as a back up keeper for Deniz Mehmet.

All his other signings were loan players - Chris Mochrie from Dundee United, Sam Fisher from Dundee, Kane Ritchie-Hosler from Rangers, Robbie Mahon from Motherwell, Ewan Otoo from Celtic and towards the end of the season Paul McGowan from Dundee. Everyone of these loanees have played an important part in the club’s success.

After just four pre season friendlies in which only one goal was conceded against Kilmarnock, the Premier Sports Cup kicked the competitive season off with two wins, a draw and a narrow defeat away to Ross County. The league season commenced with wins over Alloa and FC Edinburgh but it wasn’t until match day three that they hit the top of the league.

Apart from a minor shuffle with second place Dunfermline would maintain that position from 15th October for the rest of the season.

James led Dundee to promotion to the SPFL Premiership in 2021 but the cinch League One was his first title success. Congratulations to James, his coaching staff and players. Upwards and hopefully onwards in the 2023-2024 season.

As a relatively young manager James has behind him 151 matches in full time football management, two promotions, and now two Manager of the Season awards. He added that meant everything to him and his family:-

“I am proud of that record and proud of the awards. My mum who is 81 now has seen one game, the first ever game she saw in my 23 years of playing or managing - she came to the Peterhead game here when we won 5-0. The only award that she has ever accepted off me has been my Manager of the Season awards and they sit proudly on her mantelpiece at home. She now has two up there and that makes me proud.

“My kids get the Manager of the Month ones because my mum is not interested in them. We all have our own motivations and why we do things. I do that for my family and I’m pleased with that record.”



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