Banks o’ Dee are building for the future with a revamped management team and a new pitch.
Following Tommy Forbes’ retirement, former Cove Rangers and Turriff coach Roy McBain has joined Jamie Watt as co-manager.
Former Dee midfielder Josh Winton has also become part of the first-team coaching staff.
Aggie Gray has been appointed head of youth development and Jason Annand will be a first-team support coach, as well as coaching in the youth ranks.
On the playing front. the Junior side have also signed midfielder Craig MacAskill from Keith.
Succession planning important
Spain Park president Brian Winton said: “I’d like to thank Tommy Forbes, because he had a tremendous time with us and delivered an inordinate amount of trophies during his spell with Banks o’ Dee.
“His time needs to be recognised and we’re pleased to welcome Roy McBain to work alongside Jamie Watt as well as Josh Winton as part of the coaching staff and Aggie Gray and Jason Annand to their roles.
“Sandy McNaughton came in with Tommy and did a great job until he retired a couple of years ago.
“Then Tommy carried on with Jamie Watt coming in and we’ve had a very successful few years.
“Now Roy has come in to freshen things up.
Josh has got all his coaching badges and has been coaching since he was 18, so it’s a natural transition for him.
“He’s worked with the 17s and the 20s, so it’s not new to him and he was keen to do something and stay around the club.
“We’ll always encourage our ex-players to stay around the club if they so wish.
“I think having that succession planning mentality is good, because they understand the ethos of the club and how we want to operate.”
Dee hoping to be pitch perfect
Dee’s current astroturf pitch was laid ten years ago as part of a series of upgrades to the facilities at Spain Park.
A new synthetic surface – which is the same as Championship side Raith Rovers’ – will be installed this month.
Winton is thankful for the support they have had from local businesses and sports club manager Iain Watson with this project.
He added: “It was laid in 2011 and that was the first piece of the development work we’ve done alongside the new floodlights.
“The intention next year is to look at putting in LED floodlights, which is something we’d like to do to look.
“We widened the access route, we did the two standing areas at the far side of the pitch, we did the community changing rooms.
“There’s been a lot of upgrades done over the 10 years and, when you have an astroturf pitch, you need those supporting facilities to enhance having the pitch.
“All that work is really complete and relaying the pitch is the last piece of the 10-year plan.
“It’s a multi-purpose facility and getting the new surface down is a good next step for us to take.
“If you look at the investment, along with Iain Watson at the sports club, we’ve invested £2.5 million.
“There’s not many clubs will have enhanced their facilities to that level over that period of time.
“A lot of local businesses have been really helpful and really supportive.
“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to secure any grants for this latest work, we have applied and been unsuccessful.
“It’s been local business people supporting us with this project and I’ve thanked them personally for their support.
“We’ve got to bear in mind that the sports club has been closed 10 months out of the last 12, so revenue has been significantly down.
“I think it shows how good a sports club manager we have that we’ve been able to come through these times and still deliver a project of this size in this difficult economic climate.”