Club captain Dan Halliday gives his insight ahead of Dunston FC’s maiden
season in the BetVictor North/West League and tomorrow’s
game against Marine FC.

Dan Halliday (Captain)
Tomorrow is a massive day for the club as we play our first game in The BetVictor North/West League. You’ll be leading the team out as Club Captain. How are you feeling going into the game ?

DH: It certainly is a massive day for the club, all the players are feeling positive about the game and everyone can’t wait to get started. We had a very positive pre-season and a good win mid-week in The Emirates FA Cup against Consett, so hopefully we can carry it on into Saturday.

Dunston have put in some superb performances during pre-season with victories against sides further up the
Non-League pyramid. What sort of message do you think this has sent out to sides in the League ?

DH: The fact we’ve beaten teams further up than us will show teams what we are capable of and that they’ll have
to be prepared fully for when we come to play them.

This season comes with a host of different challenges, one of the main challenges for players could be how you
cope with the travelling that’s involved. How have you prepared for this?

DH: We all know that the travelling is going to be a challenge, but I don’t think there’s much preparation you can
do for it other than making sure you eat and sleep well and make sure you don’t let the journey become an excuse.

The vast majority of the Northern League winning side from last season has remained together for the coming
season, The Club has strengthened over the summer. Going into this season how do you think we compare ?

DH: Like you say we’ve kept the majority of last season’s squad together and we’ve strengthened with a few very
good additions to the squad. Last season we had a very good defensive record, conceding the fewest goals if I remember correctly and we always scored goals with Fitzy (Mark Fitzpatrick) up front.

With the Northern League, you have a good understanding of each teams strengths and weaknesses and the
players you're up against. The BetVictor North/West League is all new territory for a lot of the squad. Is this some-
thing that you're concerned by or do you think sides need to be more concerned by us given that the sides who've gone up from the Northern League to Step 4 have performed very well over the past seasons?

DH: Yes its new territory but I don’t think there’s anything to be concerned about for us, everyone knows how
much of a tough league the Northern League is and if you win it you’ve obviously got something about you. I think teams will be more concerned about us then what we’ll will be about them. ​

Confidence is obviously high in the dressing room at the moment. Given what Dunston UTS FC achieved last
season it's not surprising. You've got a dressing room full of superb characters. You've been at the Club since
you were a teenager. How's this dressing room compare to all the others you've been involved with?

DH: You’re right, the confidence is high in the changing room, we are all best mates and there’s not one person
that doesn’t get on with another, I’m not too sure on that one either, I think I was 18 or 19 when I joined. Compared
to other dressing rooms, I would just say that everyone is down to earth, we all graft for each other and help each
other out. The only one I could compare it to would be when I first signed and the likes of Michael Dixon, Andrew Bulford, Liam Connell etc were all at the Club.

As Club Captain you deservedly lifted the Northern League title last season having won by a clear seventeen points. Moving into this season what would you realistically like to achieve and what’s a minimum would you class as a successful season ?

DH: Realistically I would like to be up there at the top competing for the League again and I think we are capable of doing that if we play like we did last season, also another good run in The FA Cup would be excellent again. The FA Trophy is new to me and I’m sure it is to most of the lads so a good run in that too and then I’d say that’s a successful season to us as players and a club.
Dunston UTS v Ashton Athletic
Dan Halliday is kindly sponsored by:

Home shirt - Qualty Trade Windows
Away shirt - Prentech Ltd
Recovery kit - Dougie James Lowden

An interview with Craig Scott can be read here