Broughty Athletic’s recent new signing and former Forfar West End player/manager Daryl McKenzie sat down and gave us a little insight into himself since he joined the club a few weeks ago. Read below what Daryl had to say…
Welcome to the club Daryl, how has it been and how did the move come about?
I have loved the last four weeks, to be honest, some results apart. Signing for the club was really simple, Jamie gave me a call and we agreed to meet up, I met him and Ralph a few days later and I was really impressed with their vision for the club. I was enthused by the role they both seen me playing this season and agreed to sign.
You spent many years at FWE as player and manager, how will it be for you becoming a player at a new club?
It’s been a lot easier than I thought to be fair. Certainly less stressful and I’m really enjoying turning up on a Tuesday & Thursday just concentrating on training well and not a thousand other things. I’d forgotten what it was like being a part of a dressing room in all honesty and the boys have allowed me to settle after a few weeks of ribbing so it’s been great.
Do you remember when you first started in the game?
I started playing football competitively at age 10 for Longforgan Boys which was the closest team to where I lived. I signed for Forfar Athletic at 16 and played there until I was 20 when I was released after a handful of senior games. The rest of my career has been spent in the Juniors.
Gameday rituals or superstitions before a match, do you have any, if so what are they?
No, nothing like that really. I’m too old to believe in luck these days. I do always eat an absurd amount of fruit before a match, as the boys are finding out. I always have clean boots for a match though, I’m slow enough without carrying a pound of mud on each leg.
Who, in football, is your boyhood hero, someone you admire and why?
Not sure about this one. Being a Dundee fan it’s no easy picking a hero. I used to love Billy Dodds when he was at Dundee. I also remember being at McDiarmid Park when Neil McCann chipped in that goal v Airdrie in the semi-final. Morten Weighorst was another Dundee player I loved when growing up.
More recently though it would probably be Arsene Wenger, I was an Arsenal fan and the way he transformed everything at the club and did it whilst winning trophies and playing good football was incredible. His example is probably the main reason I coached/managed the way I do/did.
Do you wish to go back into football management at Junior level or stick to playing just now?
I’m 100% sure I will go back into management/coaching again in the future. I started stupidly young looking back now but I remember being desperate to be a manager for some reason.
I’m really enjoying playing just now and so many people have told me over the years to “play as long as you can” and I intend on doing that for as long as the club will have me.
During your footballing career, any highlights, proud moments that stick out you’d like to share with us?
I made my debut for Forfar Athletic vs Alloa in a 1-1 draw away back in 2005 and somehow managed to pick up MOM (even after Jose Quitongo taking the p*ss out of me for 90 mins).
Over my 13 years at FWE we won many trophies and promotions. As a player under Jim Finlayson, we had an incredibly hard-working and determined team. We won back to back promotions in the old Premier League/Super League set up as well as many of the local & regional cups in the old structure.
I always remember losing the Premier League to Tayport on the last day of the season at home 2-1. A horrible day for the club but the next year we beat them in a cup final on penalties at Carnoustie. As we were walking out the ground the Tayport team bus was there and I stole three crates of lager from the boot of it. Ten minutes later our wee minibus drove past them and every player held up a can of lager and burst out laughing. I still don’t think they know to this day it was us. The team spirit we had back then was incredible.
As a Manager winning promotion to the old Premier League vs Thornton Hibs at home in 2014 and beating Newtongrange Star 3-2 in the Super League promotion playoff game in 2017 are special days I will never forget.
Training sessions on a cold wet freezing night during the week or losing a game on a Saturday, what’s the worst?
Easy one this, nothing worse than losing on a Saturday and it never gets any easier with experience. Training nights are fine, we’ve got a great squad of lads here at Broughty and training is always good fun.
Finally, tell us about Daryl McKenzie outside of football, what do you do, family life, get up to etc?
Outside of football, I am a Sports Manager for Leisure & Culture Dundee. I have a loving wife Lisa and 2 kids Charlie and Paityn. Charlie will soon be well known to supporters at Broughty as he’s his dads biggest critic and doesn’t hold back on match days.
Thanks to Daryl for his words.