It’s exciting times on both sides of the street for young talent coming through, particularly at Dens Park.
The recent emergence of Sam Fisher and Max Anderson to the forefront of Dundee’s first team, coupled with Fin Robertson already cementing himself in the top-team dressing-room last term, is terrific for football in the city.
We’ve seen United, too, field the likes of Louis Appere, Logan Chalmers, Lewis Neilson, Kai Fotheringham and Kerr Smith in recent times.
However, owed partly to playing in the Championship, the impact the Dee kids are having right now is, undoubtedly, very impressive and bodes well for the future.
Box-to-box midfielder Anderson has been the stand-out and really seized his opportunity in the middle of the park with both Charlie Adam and Jordan McGhee having spells on the sidelines.
The 19-year-old has made himself, practically, a stick-on for boss James McPake with his energetic, dynamic displays and, crucially, he knows where the back of the net is.
Anderson has scored three times in 17 appearances this season, with all his goals coming in the last five games, netting in wins over Inverness, Arbroath and Alloa.
Fisher, too, has made he most of his chance to get some Championship minutes under his belt, partnering Lee Ashcroft at centre-half with Liam Fontaine injured, Jordon Forster out of the picture for the Dark Blues and youngster Malachi Fagan-Walcott returning to parent club Tottenham struggling with a hamstring problem.
The 19-year-old defender, who spent the first part of the season starring on loan for League One Forfar Athletic, has enjoyed four run-outs since January, helping his team keep two clean sheets in the process.
Last Friday’s 3-0 win over Alloa was his best performance yet, with Fisher unfazed by an extremely physical Wasps side.
Until Fontaine or McGhee return, he’ll continue at centre-back with the trust of his boss.
Credit to McPake, and Dundee academy chief Stephen Wright for showing faith in young talent at a crucial point in their Championship campaign.
With just seven games left to secure a play-off spot, the Dark Blues welcome close Championship rivals Dunfermline to Dens tonight.
Fisher and Anderson will, likely, play their part.
Unfortunately, Fin Robertson won’t after being ruled out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury.
It’s another blow in what has been a difficult season for the 18-year-old, who has struggled for form, fitness and game time.
His talent, however, is undeniable and was on full display when he burst onto the scene last term as a precocious 16-year-old.
His time will come again and, for my money, Robertson is the pick of the bunch and a youngster I fully expect will be at the forefront of Dundee’s golden generation.
A change of tact was needed in the fight against racism in society and our game after the vile abuse Rangers man Glen Kamara was subjected to in Europe last week.
It won’t fix the problem but individual players and teams, like Dundee United before their 1-0 win over Aberdeen last weekend, deciding to take a stand rather than a knee in support of anti-racism is a good start.
I’ve been quite vocal in taking a knee in the past, doing so myself at recent matches, but I will now be acting in solidarity with the players and take a stand.
As a white person, I’m in no position to comment what is the best course of action against the hate the likes of former Dundee midfielder Kamara had to endure but I will always fall in line with what these guys see fit.
For them, taking the knee is an empty gesture now and a stand is far more appropriate. Having these conversations is good progress.
What is even more encouraging is the SFA seem to be taking serious action against racism with the formation an Equality and Diversity Advisory Board.
That kind of system change is what is needed to once and for all stamp out the blight of racial abuse in football.
It’s become an all too often an occurrence these days that we have to talk about cowards like Slavia Prague’s Ondrej Kudela and his horrific actions at Ibrox.
These people must be punished.
John McGinn’s importance to Scotland in recent years may have come as a surprise to some but, for me, the Aston Villa man has been a star since day one.
Affectionately known as Meatball by the Paisley faithful, due to his rather round head, McGinn was pulling off magic like his acrobatic goal against Austria since making his St Mirren debut in 2012.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) March 25, 2021
In one of his early outings in black and white against St Johnstone, I recall McGinn showcasing his trademark twist and turn before cracking a fierce strike off the bar.
From then, you knew he was going to be special.