Dair hopes to bloom in Bluebell dug-out

Action from Dundonald's defeat to Camelon on Saturday.  Pic: Alan Murray
Action from Dundonald's defeat to Camelon on Saturday. Pic: Alan Murray

Raith Rovers legend Jason Dair has returned to the dug-out after being appointed the new boss of junior outfit Dundonald Bluebell.

The Coca-Cola Cup winner, and the first player to score for Raith in Europe in 1995, took over the reins last week following the resignation of Stevie Kay.

After stints as assistant manager at Berwick, East Fife and Cowdenbeath, Dair is now relishing the chance to put his own stamp on a club currently riding high in the East Superleague.

“I’ve been assistant at a few senior clubs and I felt it was time just to try and get a a manager’s job and see where it went,” said. “The chance came up, and I felt it was time to go for it.

“Hopefully I’ve learned from a few top level managers I’ve played under, the likes of Jimmy Nicholl, Jimmy Calderwood and Terry Butcher, and hopefully I can add something to Dundonald.

“Usually when you take over a club the manager has been sacked and they are on a downward spiral.

“But I’ve inherited a decent squad sitting in a decent position in the Superleague, so hopefully I can use the contacts I’ve still got in the senior game, and maybe add a few players, improve them a wee bit and push on next season again.”

Dair will be assisted at Moorside Park by his brother Lee who has agreed to return to Bluebell despite resigning as part of the previous management team.

The new boss was in the dug-out for Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Camelon.

“It wasn’t the best first half, but there was a big improvement in the second half and we should’ve got something from the game once we tweaked a couple of things,” he said.

“We’re home to Forfar West End on Saturday so if we continue where left off in the last game hopefully we can pick up a result.”

Dair’s hopes of a winning debut were dashed by Gordon Herd’s high flying Mariners who made it four East Superleague wins on the trot thanks to an Alan Sneddon double.

Sneddon broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when he latched on to a great through ball from Ryan Kane and side stepped visiting keeper James Lennox before firing the ball into an empty net.

Given their early dominance this was no more than Camelon deserved but Dundonald would more than match for them for the remainder of the first half.

The second half saw the Cardenden side continue to press for the equaliser and it took a combination of some stout defending and good goalkeeping from Dean Shaw to keep them at bay. A superb goal line clearance by Don Morrison denied Archie Campbell what looked a sure fire equaliser for the visitors.

That pattern continued but Camelon held firm and in the dying minutes a quick break upfield ended with them winning a penalty after Sneddon was brought down by Jason Penman.

Sneddon made no mistake from the spot to seal Bluebell’s fate.