Jun 15 2012 by Stuart Gillespie, Dumfries Standard Friday
JOHN MacBeth has been chosen as Dalbeattie Star’s new player/manager.
The 27-year-old returns to the club after a stint playing at Annan Athletic, with current Star player Gary Kerr taking on the role of assistant manager.
MacBeth was appointed on Friday with the new management team, which also includes existing coach Keith Dingwall, unveiled to supporters at Monday night’s AGM at Islecroft.
And MacBeth, who replaces title winning boss Paul Laurie, admits the move came as a bit of a surprise.
He said: “I got the call on Thursday and was manager on Friday. It’s all a bit new to me.
“I had to do a lot of thinking because I’m only 27. I phoned my manager at Annan, I spoke to my dad and I spoke to my ex-manager Paul McGinley to get everyone’s advice and ended up just deciding I wanted to go for it.
“In the last couple of years I’ve been thinking more about it but I didn’t think the chance would come up this early.
“Hopefully we can win the league again and get a wee run in the Scottish Cup, which is always important for the club.
“I’ll just take it from there – I’ll be learning as I go along. Hopefully I’ll still be playing a lot and Gary will play a lot.”
Fullback MacBeth joined Star from Annan early in 2006, helping the club win the East of Scotland First Division the following year.
The start of 2009 saw him go back to Annan, who by this time had joined the Scottish Football League, and his return to Star comes after a loan spell there earlier this season, during which he scored two goals.
“It’s a club close to my heart,” he said. “I had a good three years here and improved a lot as a player and learned a lot so it was a no brainer to come back.
“I had a loan spell last season and I grew up playing with half the boys. I know them all and I’ve spoken to most of them since Friday and hopefully they’ll all sign up again and we can have a good push at the title.”
While MacBeth is only 27 and has no previous managerial experience, Star chairman Clark Lamont believes there is no risk attached to the appointment.
He said: “We’re very fortunate to get the man we’ve got. He’s young for manager but he played here before he went to Annan, he’s played three or four years for them in the league and he wants to do a bit of coaching and develop that side.
“He’ll get every chance here. He knows all the players and he’ll get a free reign to do as he wants, the same as every other manager has had.
“Hopefully he can keep the basis of the squad together. The squad we had he can learn the management side with them.
“He’s worked under Harry Cairney at Annan for the last three years and three or four years with Paul McGinley here before that.
“He’s worked with two good coaches so I have no fear whatsoever for the boy.
“One of the senior players Gary Kerr will be in as coach and Keith Dingwall will be on the bench as he has been for the last few years so there’s an element of stability with the player/coach having been here, Keith having been here and John knowing the players.”