Dundee boss Gary Bowyer opens up life at Dens Park, The Open, Charlie Adam calls and his father's United link
Timing is everything. Dundee were not in cahoots with the Royal & Ancient when it came to laying on a notable golf championship at the same time as they were trying to help a new manager settle in.
But the fact the 150th Open is on while Gary Bowyer is in the first few weeks of his new role has certainly helped convince the latest incumbent in the Dens Park manager’s chair that he is in the right place after a lifetime working in English football.
He was already sold on the club. As soon as he saw the impressive boardroom at Dens Park, in fact. "It immediately reminded me of the boardroom at Ewood Park," says Bowyer, who managed Blackburn Rovers with admirable results in difficult circumstances.
“I joined Blackburn and it was such a historic club. They are founding members of the Football League. But I also got a feeling that it was a family club as well as a traditional one. I get the same feeling here because of the people inside the club and the connection with the supporters.”
The officials at Blackburn Rovers had the opportunity to compare oak-panelled boardrooms at a friendly in midweek at Dens Park.
Bowyer’s quietly impressive start continued with a 1-1 draw against the visitors. He takes his new side to Stranraer this afternoon.
It has proved a hectic period for the 51-year-old. His son, Leo, turns two today. The morning after he was unveiled as Dundee manager last month he shot out to Ibiza to attend his 27-year-old daughter Georgia’s wedding to Halifax Town footballer Jordan Keane.
Bowyer has adored his time in Dundee so far. He mentions walks along the beach at Broughty Ferry and the view as the train sweeps around the corner from the south to reveal the city on the other side of the rail bridge.
He spent an enchanted evening in St Andrews last Friday with assistant Billy Barr as they walked the fairways and crossed the Swilcan Bridge prior to The Open rolling into town. There was magic in the air.
“There was a girl playing the cello on the little bridge at the 18th and it was classical music – we just stood there watching,” he says.
“Then as you walked up the 18th, there was another girl playing a piano on the path and then the Claret Jug was there at the end, and we got pictures with it. An unbelievable night.”