Last year I decided to have a ‘live’ summer blog post that would be periodically updated as the club announced any news regarding players, sponsorships, kits or anything else of note. I did originally plan on starting a similar thread this summer, but after the playoff campaign. United seem to be intent on making things happen before that so maybe it is best if I start now!
With the club’s immediate competitive future still to be decided this page will change as things develop both on and off the park.
What follows is a post that will be kept active over the summer and will hopefully keep everyone up-to-date on all the happenings at Tannadice.
Current 1st Team Squad
Benji Siegrist – Contracted until June 2020
Josh Donaldson – Contracted until June 2020
Deniz Mehmet – Signed until June 2021
Frederic Frans – Contracted until June 2020
Jamie Robson – Contracted until June 2020
Sam Wardrop – Contracted until June 2020
Mark Reynolds – Contracted until June 2022 after signing pre-contract
Paul Watson – Contracted until June 2020
Mark Connolly – Contracted until June 2021
Liam Smith (pre-contract) – Contracted until June 2021
Adrian Sporle – Signed until June 2022
Paul McMullan – Contracted until June 2021
Sam Stanton – Contracted until June 2020
Calum Butcher – Contracted until June 2020
Cammy Smith – Contracted until June 2020
Fraser Aird – Contracted until June 2020 – Currently not training with United
Ian Harkes – Contracted until June 2021
Peter Pawlett – Contracted until June 2021
Adam King – Signed until June 2022
Osman Sow – Contracted until June 2020
Nicky Clark – Contracted until June 2020
Lawrence Shankland – Signed until June 2022
Notable Youngsters Used During Pre-Season
Matty Smith – Forward/Midfielder
Declan Glass – Midfielder
Scott Banks – Midfielder
Logan Chalmers – Forward/Midfielder
Louis Appere – Forward/Midfielder
Ross Graham – Midfielder
Chris Mochrie – Midfielder
Fraser Fyvie, Morgaro Gomis, Aidan Nesbitt, Stewart Murdoch, Lewis Toshney, Tam Scobbie, William Edjenguele, Billy King, Luc Bollan, Kieran Inglis, Gavin Ritchie, Archie Thomas, Matti Zata, Pavol Safranko, Charlie Seaman, Ross Laidlaw, Adam Barton, Christoph Rabitsch, Rachid Bouhenna, Yannick Loemba.
At youth level the club have offered professional contracts to the following players – Layton Island, Shaun Brown, Rhys Caves, Flynn Duffy, Kai Fotheringham, Lewis Fraser, Adam Hutchinson, Mackenzie Lemon, Archie Meekison, Chris Mochrie, Lewis Neilson, Finn Robson and Darren Watson.
David Southern, the Chief Operating Officer brought in by Stephen Thompson, has left his role at Tannadice. It is unclear if he is to be replaced or not.
Lee McCulloch has re-joined United after his short-term contract in assisting the club with our strikers. He is now ‘Assistant Head Coach’ and will work alongside Robbie Neilson and Gordon Forrest.
Gary Dempsey joins the club as Head of Sports Science. With a background in sports science within professional rugby he has worked with the English national team and the SRU. As part of this appointment the club have announced that Csaba Gabris has officially left Tannadice.
Other Club News
With updates to follow it is expected that we will get news shortly on the new arrangements with the club shop, the catering at Tannadice and the new kit supplier Macron.
The club have announced several projects to improve Tannadice over the coming weeks and months.The first relates to accessibility and thanks to the DUSF and the Scottish Cup 25th anniversary dinner the club have received a donation to help improve match day and stadium access to people with disabilities.
Elsewhere the club are making pitch improvements and stadium improvements. They are installing a lift to give access to the hospitality suite in the George Fox plus they are (thankfully) painting large sections of the Eddie Thompson Stand and securing some of the structural framework.
At 10pm on Wednesday 10th of July the club finally unveiled the long awaited kit from new suppliers Macron. The new home top is a throwback to the 1985/86 kit which for many fans is the most iconic in the club’s history. The design has been universally praised by United fans, including this one! A stunning product from Macron and a huge well done to the club!
New Signings/Contract Extensions
- Liam Smith (pre-contract)
- Mark Reynolds (pre-contract)
- Paul McMullan (contract extension)
- Adrian Sporle (signed from CA Banfield)
- Lawrence Shankland (signed on free transfer)
- Adam King (signed on a free transfer)
Pre-Season Friendly Results –
East Fife 1 – 1 Dundee United – Scorer – Nicky Clark
Brechin 0 – 6 Dundee United – Scorers – Sam Stanton, Osman Sow, Logan Chalmers, Louis Appere, Paul Watson
Dumbarton 3 – 2 Dundee United – Scorers – Lawrence Shankland, Louis Appere
Shrewsbury Town 2 – 1 Dundee United – Scorer – Louis Appere
Betfred Cup Results –
Hearts 1 – 1 Dundee United (lost on penalties) – Scorer – Lawrence Shankland
Stenhousemuir 1 – 2 Dundee United – Scorers – Paul Watson, Callum Butcher
Dundee United 3 – 0 Cowdenbeath – Scorers – Adrian Sporle, Lawrence Shankland, Louis Appere
Dundee United 0 – 2 East Fife
Dundee United finish 3rd and fail to qualify from the group.
Opinions and Ramblings
8th May – With the news today of the 10 player exodus (and the previous announcement regarding Fyvie, Gomis and Nesbitt) you can probably say that this is all a case of “as expected” so far. I wish the young players released all the very best in their futures and also to the senior players who leave us. With Fraser Fyvie he is the one that most fans would have sympathy for and he leaves us with everyone hoping that he is a success in whatever he decides to do moving forward.
Hopefully the release of these players gives Neilson more room to manoeuvre this summer and hopefully it also means that we may have a few more departures in the weeks to come as the club negotiates with people who are still under contract.
14th June – After a strange couple of weeks where we had definitely signed Adrian Sporle (but nothing came from the club) the move has finally been made official after the opening of the Scottish transfer window.
Not many of us will know much about the Argentinian left-back but it is a position that we need to strengthen and you would now look at Smith, Reynolds, Connolly and Sporle as probably Neilson’s first choice back four for the new season.
Sporle is 6’1 and has played in the Argentinian top-flight since 2015. At 23 he is a good age for someone who has a mix of experience but also as someone who can still improve. It will be interesting to see how he manages to culture switch from Buenos Aires to Dundee!
Welcome to Tannadice Adrian!
3rd July – We finally got our man! After a long signing process, striker Lawrence Shankland has joined the club on a three year contract from Ayr United. Rumours of large signing on fees, wages and bonuses have been doing the rounds but without knowing the details of the deal it has to be said that as a headline signing it shows real intent from the club.
Credit must go to Tony Asghar and the team at United in bringing in such a high-profile and caught after player. Can he do the business? Much will depend on United being able to utilise a system that brings out eh best in a player that enjoys playing alongside another striker and thrives on good service.
11th July – United make another signing with the capture of Adam King, brother of Billy. The former Hearts midfielder has spent the last few seasons at Swansea but has failed to make the breakthrough. He joins United on a three year deal and plays in a central position, similar to a Fraser Fyvie type role. He is versatile and can also play fullback or further forward. Welcome Adam!
31st July – Since the last update we have announced the departure of Rachid Bouhenna, Callum Booth and today Yannick Loemba. For both Loemba and Booth it was possibly always the case that they would be moved on this summer. I maybe feel as though Booth could have still acted as a backup but we do have both Sporle and Robson in that role (although Sporle is yet to convince).
Personally I am a little disappointed with the loss of Rachid Bouhenna but it seems as though the move was more him wanting to leave rather than the club wanting to sell. He was a useful player to have and someone who could cover more than one position. He leaves with my best wishes.