By KEVIN CRAIGENS
LAST year Dean Beaton left the east coast for a new house in Newmains.
Now he hopes to play his own part in helping Victoria Park become a home for the community too.
The ex-Dunfermline Athletic and Edinburgh South Ladies coach wanted to stay in football after his move to the North Lanarkshire village.
After being impressed with the work at Newmains United he got in touch and landed a post as co-manager of their new Under-20s team.
Academy boss John Campbell and Beaton will take charge of a side that will play in the Lowland Development League this season after the club’s move to the West of Scotland League setup.
Since the new regime arrived at United two-and-a-half-years ago they have forged links with the local community which had become broken previously.
Now Beaton, 36, hopes the academy – which also includes 2007s and 2008s sides – can help inspire the locals even more.
He said: “I’m from the east coast but after living here I’ve quickly found the Newmainiac in myself. I wanted to get back on to the training field and coach again.
“Although I was first team manager at Dunfermline a lot of the work I was doing surrounded youth development and I set up several different age groups of girls’ teams.
“I missed the coaching aspect so the opportunity to get back to the grassroots again was something I was keen to do.
“There was a fair amount of homework before I did anything else. I saw the club had a fairly robust history and grounding despite not having the success over the last ten years or so, although I’d obviously seen that was improving more recently.
“Once I had conversations with the first team’s co-managers Paul Davies and Craig Gupwell and the academy manager John Campbell I was pretty certain that this was going to be a decent fit.
“The coronavirus meant everything that we have to do is being done digitally. However I feel I’ve been able to strike up a fairly close bond with everyone.
“I’m also keen to engage with the community and help to further build that spirit around the club.”
After a string of injuries left him unable to plat at the standard he wanted, Beaton turned to coaching when he was just 16.
He added: “I seem to have a natural ability to talk to people and to get the best out of them. Coaching from an early age and coaching people who are older than me showed I had the people skills to do that.
“It was a challenge. I wouldn’t say it was difficult but as long as you adapt, you’re not patronising and come across in the correct manner then people will take you in the right way.”
For more information on the 2007s, 2008s and Under-20s teams call academy manager John Campbell on 07903 279638.