A strong start to the season is vital for any team hoping to make a push for a league title. Remaining unbeaten during the opening stages of a campaign can provide players with valuable confidence and a sense of invincibility which can prove to be the edge in games against potential title challengers. The longer the run lasts, the harder it becomes to stop.
Two teams which are oozing confidence after their perfect starts to the current campaign are Dunbeth FC and Dunipace Juniors U13's.
Dunbeth currently sit three points clear of Dunipace at the top of the FVFDA Under 13s table having played one game more than their title rivals. Both teams have started their campaigns in scintillating form with each side putting 10 goals or more past their opponents in four of their respective games to date.
Despite the league table telling a story of complete dominance, Dunbeth haven’t avoided a scare or two during their ascent to the top of the table. Close-fought matches against Dunblane Soccer Club and Hillfoots Community Club, 6-5 and 3-2 victories for Dunbeth respectively, have shown that the current league leaders can be pushed to the limit.
However, it could be argued that being able to scrape narrow victories against incredibly game opponents is a quality typically possessed by champions.
On the other hand, Dunipace have enjoyed a more straight-forward start to the season. Having beaten each of their opponents so far by no less than four goals, no team has been able to truly threaten their 100% record. There is no doubt that Dunipace’s start will give them immense confidence going into the festive period, but some may argue that they haven’t yet been tested to the same extent as their Dunbeth.
Dunbeth have dominated most of their games but have also shown the character, grit and tenacity to come out victorious in two tight games against tough opponents, showing that they have all the tools necessary to become champions. Dunipace, however, haven’t had the opportunity to show these characteristics, such has been their dominance so far this season.
This leaves questions unanswered about their title credentials until the day comes when they face a side which threatens to do what no team has come close to doing this season and beat them. If form is anything to go by, this day may not come until the two pace-setters eventually meet for the first time.
Alternatively, Hillfoots Community Club could also pose a serious threat to Dunipace’s perfect record. Having come so close to taking points from their early season encounter with Dunbeth and with an otherwise perfect record, Hillfoots have shown that they can be a match for the very best which the league has to offer.
However, there is no way of guaranteeing when these top of the table clashes may take place. Frozen and waterlogged pitches typically accompany the Scottish winter and plague football fixture lists for weeks on end resulting in widespread postponements all across the country. Consequently, it may be a while before either teams’ 100% record is lost.