Manager welcomes tie v Celtic BThursday, 1st Sep 2022
01/09/22: JM:- “Celtic B will be a threat because they are the elite youths in the country and it will be a good test.
Dunfermline manager James McPake gave his reaction to the SPFL Trust Trophy draw which will bring Celtic B to play at the KDM Group East End Park later this month. James described it as a great draw not just because it’s a home draw but also because it puts him up against a good friend, Darren O’Dea, the Celtic B coach:-
“Darren is one of my close friends in football and along with Stephen McManus they are the coaches at Celtic B. It will be a good game, a tough game. They will fancy it, Darren will certainly fancy it because in everything Darren does, he wants to win. They beat Stirling University 6-0 at Airdrie on Wednesday night.
“It will be a good game in a few weeks time, it is one to look forward to and it is a cup that we want to progress in. It is another chance to win a game of football so when that comes around we will pick a team to go out and have a go. Likewise we can expect Celtic B to do the same.”
Former Celtic centre-back O’Dea succeeded James McPake as captain of Dundee in June 2017, a role he had undertaken on a part-time basis while regular skipper was out battling a long-term knee injury. The Irishman went on to make over 100 appearances for the Dee. The Pars gaffer continued:-
“It will be good to see him, I’m used to being on the touchline with him, he is somebody who can be louder than me!”
James admitted to being a fan of B teams being involved in the SPFL Trust Trophy and had first hand experience of it when Dundee B played Peterhead in August 2021:-
“I don’t see why not. It was great to give some young players a chance. By that point we could be looking at Paul Allan or Craig Wighton, do they need a game. We will use it to benefit Dunfermline, Celtic will use it to benefit Celtic B and they will be a threat because they are the elite youths in the country and it will be a good test.
“I have nothing against it, it is good for the competition. You will always get a wee upset here and there. It is a test for teams and in my opinion, a good chance for the Premiership teams that want to enter their B teams to give their players games as well.
“I am a fan of the competition as well for that point because come then we might have players who need games. We are in the Reserve Cup but we are not in an organised fixture list where you can say there is a game. You go on the back of phoning people - Hibs, Hearts whoever it may be - for a game. It is an organised fixture and we will use it to our full advantage to help the football club. If that’s getting Paul Allan a game, Craig Wighton a game, Max Little a game - whoever it may be then we will certainly do that.”
A home draw is definitely a bonus with the boss praising the East End Park playing surface:-
“I solely say that just for the pitch and being at home. The pitch is unbelievable because of the way they look after it. Even after we trained on it I looked at it the next day and it was immaculate, pristine. Credit to the ground staff.
“Hopefully it continues like that. I know that we will respect it even when they say that we can train on it. We don’t want to do that, whenever you are at home we want to go out there and it to be like that. The fans want to see it like that, when we walk in from the back and look down from the North West on the pitch that’s when get excited.
“Being at home is great, being Celtic is great because it is Darren but it will be a tough game.”
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