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DFC 2022/23 Loan Report


RossBFD

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7 minutes ago, RossBFD said:

WINTER:

Zak Rudden (22/23) (ST) – St Johnstone (Premiership) – Joined 31st Jan. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 12 apps, 1 goal, 0 assists

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Rudden obviously doesn’t need much of an introduction, as he’d been loaned out for squad improvement rather than development. Stats-wise he’d had a good start for Dundee in the 2022/23 season, but with Robinson returning,  Rudden frustrated and Callum Davidson wanting him in Perth, Rudden went to take another swing at the top league.

After arriving at the end of the January transfer window, Rudden struggled to make the starting line-up for the Saintees and had to settle for appearances off the bench for the most part. He would start a couple of games just before the split, but would be taken off both times as little came from it and both games were scoreless losses for St Johnstone. Rudden did grab one goal during the spell, a late equaliser coming off the bench against St Mirren, and despite Rudden’s limited playing time he can feel assured that St Johnstone were not relegated at season’s end.

St Johnstone fans largely considered Rudden a decent enough player who can do things right, but overall a dud not good enough for the Premiership, not too dissimilar to what we experienced upon signing him in 2021/22. He’s a good Championship striker and perhaps we loan him out next season there, or we give him yet another chance to make it at the top league despite the consensus being pretty much decided on about that. Either way, we’re stuck with him for the next two seasons so we’ll need to make the best of it, whatever that may be.

Paul McGowan (35) (CAM)– Dunfermline Athletic (League One) – Joined 21st Feb. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 11 apps, 1 goal, 0 assists

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If Rudden needed little introduction, then Gowser needs none. Sad his last few months under contract with Dundee were spent elsewhere, but he went to a Dunfermline side whom already had one hand on the title.

McGowan largely provided a leadership role within the squad and a motivator to keep standards up for a team who could easily have gotten complacent with their very good position in the league. Gowser made almost all his appearances off the bench, and had a comfortable time as the Pars went unbeaten during his time there, only conceding 4 goals in that stretch. Gowser’s last game of the season saw his only goal for Dunfermline, a lovely chip over the Alloa keeper to end the title-winning campaign in style. Like Fisher, Gowser picked up two winners’ medals this season.

Overall, Dunfermline fans view McGowan’s spell with them as being decent enough, but have nowhere near the same enthusiasm for bringing him on permanently as they do with Sam Fisher. That being said, I don’t think they’re too against it either, and given his relationship with James McPake and the fact he’ll be 36 this year, I think it’s inevitable that he joins the Pars for next season.

Luke Strachan (21) (LB) – Alloa Athletic (League One) – Joined 6th Jan. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 14 apps, 0 goals, 3 assists

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Strachan had a fruitful loan spell with Forfar last season where he emerged as a set-piece specialist and while I’ve never felt he had much of a chance in the Dundee first team, I thought another loan spell would stand him in great stead for his career going forward. He spent the first half of 2022/23 with Dundee, finally making his first team debut against TNS in the Challenge Cup, but was left with Reserve League games otherwise until he joined Brian Rice’s Alloa side in January 2023.

Strachan seemed to be a needed piece of depth for the often injury-stricken Alloa, and would split his time between starting and coming off the bench for the Wasps. Strachan himself was not immune to the injury bug, and suffered a knock in March which kept him out for a little while. Overall, Strachan contributed to an Alloa team that just about managed to get themselves into the Championship play-offs and nearly relegated Hamilton (y’know, before they were actually relegated). Strachan’s talent at set-pieces came through here too, and he would notch 3 assists and help bring about several other goals from his corners and free kicks.

Strachan’s contract is up with Dundee and won’t be renewed, and it seems like he could be heading straight back to Alloa on a permanent deal. Alloa fans are in mixed feelings about this, not seeing him as anything special but still a solid and dependable piece for a League One team. I wish Luke all the best with his career and hope it’s a good one.

Euan Mutale (17/18) (ST) – Albion Rovers (League Two) – Joined 18th Feb. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 11 apps, 1 goal, 0 assists

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Young Englishman Mutale joined our development squad last year from Sutton United’s youth team, where he’d been the top scorer in his league. After making a fair few appearances for us in the Reserve League, Euan was picked up by an Albion Rovers side looking to stay up, and would join fellow Dee Luke Graham there.

Mutale would understandably get most of his gametime off the bench with Rovers starting Charlie Reilly and emergent striker Joe Bevan. He would notch one goal for the side during his time there against East Fife, though this was bittersweet as he had to endure racist taunting from the opposing fans in the same match. Mutale would become more prominent by the end of the season, but the season unfortunately ended in relegation.

I thought at the time it was a pretty big ‘being thrown into the deep end’ situation for Mutale to be given straight to an SPFL team, never mind one under so much pressure, so soon after coming up north, but hopefully he’s able to take a lot of value from that experience and continue to kick on for Dundee and whatever loan clubs he has going forward. He's got the potential, just needs to keep the head up!

Ewan Murray (18) (LM) – Keith (Highland League) – Joined March 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 8 apps, 0 goals, 1 assist

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After his initial disappointing loan spell with Peterhead, Murray once again headed off on loan this season with Highland League side Keith to help them try and improve their position which threatened to leave them at or near the bottom of the league.

Contrary to his usual position of left back, Keith manager Craig Ewen seemed to prefer Murray further up at left midfield, and played him in every minute of the remaining season for the Kynoch Park side. Murray was able to provide a steadying influence for the Maroons as the side finished in 15th place.

Still only 18, Murray still has plenty to learn and plenty to give if he stays on with Dundee, and I’ll be curious if so that if there will be any more SPFL sides willing to give him a shot.

Jamie Richardson (18) (ST) – Dundee North End (Midlands League) – Joined 22nd Mar. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 14 apps, 9 goals

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Young striker Richardson has been a regular fixture in Dundee’s Reserve League squad, starting alongside players such as Niall McGinn and Luke McCowan at points during the 2022/23 season. Brimming with potential, Richardson was grabbed fairly late on loan by Dundee North End, one of the Midlands League’s top clubs this season.

It didn’t take long for Richardson to find the net for the Dokens, and once he had done so he couldn’t stop. April was a tremendous month for the young lad, as he would score in 8 goals in 7 games with a goal in each game from 8th April to 3rd May. The season would end with North End finishing in 5th place and winning the North-Tayside Inter Regional Cup (aka the Quest Cup). While it was short, it’s hard to mark Richardson’s short loan spell with the Dokens as anything other than a massive success.

Not to get too excited over the lad, but I don’t want another Grady McGrath situation where the lad scores like crazy and then is released. Whether or not said form will translate in higher levels aside, Richardson has some amount of potential to succeed and hopefully is a rare case of a homegrown natural goalscorer. Looking forward to seeing how he get on next season.

Carter Kelly (17/18) (CM) – St Andrews United (EoSFL 2nd Div.) – Joined 8th Apr. 2023 – Left at end of season

Stats: 8 apps, 0 goals, 0 assists

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And the latest of the Dundee loanees was young midfielder Carter Kelly, who joined up with fellow Dee Ewan White at EoSFL 2nd Division side St Andrews United. Kelly was brought in to help get the Saints over the line for promotion, and he certainly helped as after a couple of sub appearances he would start almost every game from then on in the middle of midfield, and helped the side confirm their promotion.

Despite the brevity of his loan, it feels like a very successful one as he was well involved by the end. Don’t know too much about the lad just now but this is certainly a promising first introduction.

 

Hope it's been worth the wait, thanks for reading!

Got a pal who plays for North End who speaks so highly of Richardson, says he is a proper grafter and puts in the hard yards in training and in matches and is a class finisher. Hopefully maybe see him get loaned to a team further up the pyramid next.

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Great summary Ross - really enjoyed reading that!  Ewan White actually played as many games at right back for St Andrews United as he did in his natural position on the right wing.  Unfortunately, Ewan missed a chunk of the past season due to a groin/back injury but he was one of the best players in tier eight for a team that claimed 77 points in 32 fixtures.  However, I believe that Ewan is leaving Dens this summer at the end of his contract.  Carter Kelly is two years younger than Ewan at 17 but he is a strong, hard-working and skilful central midfielder.  Carter came to The Rec as a replacement for the extremely talented but slightly volatile Derryn Kesson and he quickly learned to compete against players far more experienced than himself.  The lad clearly has talent but I'm not sure if he's been offered a new deal at Dens for next season.         

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57 minutes ago, kemback1997 said:

Great summary Ross - really enjoyed reading that!  Ewan White actually played as many games at right back for St Andrews United as he did in his natural position on the right wing.  Unfortunately, Ewan missed a chunk of the past season due to a groin/back injury but he was one of the best players in tier eight for a team that claimed 77 points in 32 fixtures.  However, I believe that Ewan is leaving Dens this summer at the end of his contract.  Carter Kelly is two years younger than Ewan at 17 but he is a strong, hard-working and skilful central midfielder.  Carter came to The Rec as a replacement for the extremely talented but slightly volatile Derryn Kesson and he quickly learned to compete against players far more experienced than himself.  The lad clearly has talent but I'm not sure if he's been offered a new deal at Dens for next season.         

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Kelly will still have another year on his contract. 

Of the older youths I'm not too sure that any  bar Luke Graham have kicked on enough to be offered an extension but I could be wrong. 

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