New Carluke Rovers gaffer John Dunn eyeing promotion this season

John Dunn was appointed Carluke Rovers manager on Thursday after impressing at interview (Pic by Sarah Peters)
John Dunn was appointed Carluke Rovers manager on Thursday after impressing at interview (Pic by Sarah Peters)

New Carluke Rovers manager John Dunn will accept nothing less than a promotion tilt from his charges this season.

Dunn – who takes over from Colin Slater who resigned this month – watched his new side lose 3-1 at home to St Anthony’s on Saturday to fall to seventh in McBookie.com Central Division 2 with 11 points from eight games.

But the John Cumming Stadium men are only six points behind Royal Albert who currently occupy the third and final promotion spot.

“Promotion is a must for us this season with league reconstruction at the end of the campaign,” said Dundee native Dunn (43), in reference to an imminent amalgamation of West sides with Ayrshire outfits in time for the start of season 2018-2019.

“It is a very good year to finish in the top three and we have games in hand on rivals to achieve it.

“I think there is a very, very good squad at Rovers and the club is five points better off than at the same stage last season.

“There are maybe a couple of areas we are lacking in numbers where we could make additions.

“But I’m not here to finish fourth or fifth.

“I’ve come here to finish in the top three, which is what the Rovers committee expects.”

Dunn, who is being joined at Rovers by assistant gaffer Craig Nisbet, formerly turned out as a player for the now defunct Arbroath Sporting Club and Perth outfit Kinnoul.

Dunn’s earlier managerial career featured spells at junior East Region side Forfar Albion, plus a stint at Hooley Bridge Celtic with whom he gained promotion for two years running in England’s North West Counties pyramid system.

More recently, he spent a short period at Lewis United in Aberdeen and prior to that a successful period as under-23 head coach at Forfar Farmington Football Club.

Dunn already has his SFA C licence and will carry out his UEFA B licence in the coming year.

He will need to lift Rovers from their defeat to Ants on Saturday (match report on page 38) ahead of their daunting Scottish Junior Cup second round trip to face Super Premier side Kirkintilloch Rob Roy this Saturday.

“We go there as massive underdogs,” Dunn said.

“Rob Roy are expected to turn us over but we have to go there with no pressure.

“The boys beat Irvine Medaow on their way to the last 16 of this cup last season and we will be set up to have a go. The guys have to enjoy it.”