Dunipace’s under-20s complete historic treble

Dunipace’s development squad manager Callum Tapping says his side’s treble-winning season is ‘remarkable’ and the players have been a joy to work with throughout the campaign.

By Ben Kearney
Tuesday, 7th June 2022, 7:11 pm

After picking up the Lowland Development Conference C title last week and the Knockout East cup two weeks ago, after beating Civil Service Strollers, they came into their Lowland Development Challenge Cup final on form.

On the day, goals from Dylan Tennant and Marc Sludden cancelled out a strike from Bonnyrigg Rose’s Sam Kilboy to take home trophy number three for the season.

Speaking to the Herald, coach Tapping said: “We’ve managed to pick up three trophies in about as many weeks, which just doesn’t happen in football that often at any level.

Dunipace's development squad completed a treble over the weekend after picking up the Challenge Cup (Pictures: Joe Gilhooley LRPS)

“It has been truly remarkable what the lads have done this year and all the credit goes to them.

“To top it off on Friday was really special and it was a brilliant performance on the night.

“The cup competition had around 80 teams in it to start off with, so to come out on top is a real achievement.

“Going into the game, we were quietly confident just because of how the past couple of weeks had gone but that doesn’t give you any sort of advantage.

Jay Tapping makes his move on the ball

“On a cup final day, nerves kick in and both teams are in with a shout.

“You saw that in the match but the guys really approached it the right way and found a way to settle the nerves they did have.”

He also added having so many players break through has been a benefit to Dunipace’s first team squad in the East of Scotland first division conference A, with a large number of youngsters making their debuts over the course of the campaign.

“Going back to the start of the year as a coaching team, we had two objectives,” Tapping explained.

Dylan Tennant drives forward in possession

“We wanted to try and see if we could win something by creating a really good environment for the players and, secondly, to see how many players we could get into the first team.

"We have had over 17 players make first team appearances this season and they have all contributed in some way, which is an amazing statistic, really, and something to be proud of.

"Two of the guys are signing for Cumbernauld Colts in the Lowland League and I am sure others will get a chance here under Danny Smith or elsewhere in and around the league system.

The ex-Stenhousemuir captain, 29, has combined his coaching duties with his playing career.

With his current club, Edinburgh City, he helped them win promotion to the third tier and will be looking forward to facing the likes of Falkirk next campaign in League 1 under Alan Maybury.

He said: “I love coaching and it is something I have been doing for a long time. I think that has been seven years now, so it has gone in fast.

“Last year, I did my Scottish FA B license and I am hoping to get my A license this year, which would be great for my future prospects.

“The group of players I have had this year, in particular, have made my job easy and it has been so much fun coaching them and working with them.”