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Dundee captain Josh Meekings remaining positive in uncertain times




Despite his contract expiring and his Dundee side having had their shot at a play-off place taken away, Josh Meekings is using perspective to remain calm.

As The Dark Blues’ captain, the Cavendish-raised former Haverhill schoolboy had been determined to lead his team back into the Scottish Premiership at the first attempt.

But things did not work out as planned with city rivals Dundee United the runaway Scottish Championship leaders in the automatic promotion spot when football was suspended due to the Covid-19 outbreak in mid-March.

Dundee new boy Josh Meekings - photograph by David Young.... - © David Young - www.davidyoungphoto.co.uk - email: davidyoungphoto@gmail.com. (35750044)
Dundee new boy Josh Meekings - photograph by David Young.... - © David Young - www.davidyoungphoto.co.uk - email: davidyoungphoto@gmail.com. (35750044)

Meekings’ side were left third and hoping the play-offs could still go ahead, which has not materialised despite a points-per-game ending being agreed.

Nevertheless, the former Samuel Ward Academy pupil, who made 21 appearances following a couple of injury hit campaigns, is keeping level-headed.

“I was hoping we would bounce straight back but with what is happening it is not going to be the case and we have only ourselves to blame for the season as we underachieved and we just have to take it on the chin,” said the ex-Ipswich Town Under-18s captain who moved to Scotland with Inverness Caldedonian Thistle nine years ago.

4th January 2020; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish Championship Football, Dundee FC versus Inverness Caledonian Thistle; Josh Meekings of Dundee heads clear from Kevin McHattie and James Keatings of Inverness Caledonian ThistlePicture: David Young Photography (36052409)
4th January 2020; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish Championship Football, Dundee FC versus Inverness Caledonian Thistle; Josh Meekings of Dundee heads clear from Kevin McHattie and James Keatings of Inverness Caledonian ThistlePicture: David Young Photography (36052409)

“It is frustrating as we had just hit a bit of form but it is just one of those things and you just have to get on with it. The health and safety aspect has to come first.”

Talks about possible reconstructions of the Scottish top leagues and how to bring football back without crowds has provided plenty of uncertainty for players.

At the same time Meekings’ contract is expiring, leaving him in a precarious position with a young family to think of.

However, the ex-Haverhill cricketer has initially been given a one-month extension by Dundee.

5th October 2019; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish Championship, Dundee Football Club versus Arbroath; Josh Meekings of Dundee applauds the fans at the end of the matchPicture: David Young Photography (36052413)
5th October 2019; Dens Park, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish Championship, Dundee Football Club versus Arbroath; Josh Meekings of Dundee applauds the fans at the end of the matchPicture: David Young Photography (36052413)

“The club have been fantastic with me,” he said. “The players and staff were furloughed and my contract is ending in 10 days but they said they would continue it until the furloughing ends. For them to do that has been really good and I am really thankful for it.”

He added: “I always try and put things in perspective and there are a lot worse situations and a lot of people in far worse positions than what I am in. As long as my family are safe and well in these times that is all you want.”

Although he would like to return to England one day, he said he would be ‘delighted’ to get another shot at getting Dundee promoted.


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