Having retained the bulk of last season’s squad Dunipace manager Craig McKinlay has appointed player/coach James Orr as his assistant following Mick McCafferty’s decision to retire after over twenty years in the game - seven of which were at Westfield.
Paying tribute to Mick’s outstanding career the Dunipace boss said “ Mick has been fantastic support to me since I took over the job and he has been superb with all the players over the years. It goes without saying that I am sorry to see him call it a day but I’m sure James will prove an able replacement and we are both really looking forward to the season ahead.
“Our goalkeeping coach Tam Meighan, who has also been an excellent servant to the club is also taking a step back due to other commitments but I’m sure he will still be about the place.”.
With regard to the playing squad he went on to add “We have been putting together a good squad over the last couple of years so we don’t need a dramatic overhaul this season. I felt we were the best footballing team in the league last year but we lacked consistency and a series of injuries at the wrong time really hurt us.
“James and I feel that all going well we will be very strong this season and are delighted to have signed on a permanent basis Ritchie Kirwin and Andy Hunter who had both been on loan with us from Stirling Albion last season.”.
Boss Mckinlay also announced that Bryan Grant has decided to retire “ He will be a big loss as he has been a terrific player for us through the years but we respect his decision and he goes with our best wishes.”.
Another two players signing up at Westfield are Mark Sharp who has been released from Stirling Albion and Earl Krasniqi who returns for a second spell at Dunipace after being top scorer there two seasons ago.
Sharp was on target on Tuesday night as Dunipace played the first of their pre-season games where his goal along with strikes from Barry Rodger and Paul Mallon gave them a 3-1 win over a Stirling Albion X1.
That should set them up nicely for this week-end which sees the annual Dunipace Invitation Tournament take place at Westfield. On Saturday hosts Dunipace face Falkirk Juniors at 1 p.m followed by Bo’ness United taking on Livingston United at 4 p.m.
On Sunday the 3rd/4th play-off is at 1 p.m with the final kicking off at 4 p.m.