Small club thrive on THE back foot

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A rocky season start saw Arbroath United drop their first two matches but the young team quickly regained their composure.

Losing to Carlton and Mazars Grange didn’t phase captain Marc Petrie, who used it as an indicator of their weak points.

He said: “It was a bit of rustiness and just us not playing to our potential.

‘‘We wanted to put things right after those first two games and we came up to training and worked doubly as hard for the remainder of the games and we’ve been undefeated since.

There was nothing but a whisper between 2014 league winners Aberdeenshire and United and Marc is pleased the recent fixture went in their favour.

He explained: “They are our rivals.

‘‘They were undefeated in the league before we played them on May 23.”

Marc and the club take great pride in their youth development and have made a conscientious decision to champion young players into their senior teams without relying on paid professionals.

“We’ve not used a paid pro in three years now. Teams like Aberdeenshire rely a lot on their paid players and we are going in with nine out of our 11 players that have come through the youth system, he said.

“They were big favourites going into the game. We don’t really mind being the underdogs. We are such a small club compared to a lot of the Edinburgh clubs and we are quite often considered the underdogs which suits us, we thrive under that.”

United have earned a reputation on the pitch as being a big club but off the pitch they rely primarily on volunteers and less so on expensive memberships and big sponsors.

Marc said: “We like to do everything the way we think is the right way, and develop our own players.

“There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and it is really appreciated.

‘‘I know it is by the players and I think the way the club is run and the reception we get when people come here, is a source of pride.”

The team are facing a busy weekend with a league fixture tomorrow against Heriots and on Sunday they travel to Dumfries for the second round of the Scottish Cup.