2008–09 Dundee United F.C. season

Dundee United
2008–09 season
ChairmanEddie Thompson (to 15 October 2008)
Stephen Thompson (from 21 November 2008)
ManagerCraig Levein
Scottish Premier League5th
Scottish CupFifth round
League CupSemi-finals
Top goalscorerLeague:
Francisco Sandaza (10)

Francisco Sandaza (10)
Highest home attendance14,077 (v Rangers, 24 May 2009)
Lowest home attendance5,926 (v Inverness, 14 February 2009)
Home colours
Away colours

The 2008–09 season covers the period from 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009 and is the club's one hundredth season, having been founded as Dundee Hibernian in 1909.

Review and events[]

The pre-season period began with a number of new signings at the club. Dundee midfielder Scott Robertson was one of three players to agree pre-contract deals in June and he was followed by fellow player Paul Dixon shortly afterwards. Willo Flood returned on a second successive season-long loan and fellow Cardiff City player Warren Feeney followed on a similar deal, with Spanish striker Francisco Sandaza and Irish forward Roy O'Donovan (loan) the final signings.

A number of players who were out of contract left the club following the end of the 2007–08 season, including Christian Kalvenes who moved to Burnley, and Mark Kerr, who followed Lee Mair, Stuart Duff and Lee Miller in recent years by signing for New Firm rivals Aberdeen. Last season's top scorer Noel Hunt left in July to join his brother Stephen at English side Reading.

Chairman Eddie Thompson lost his battle with prostate cancer and died in the early hours of 15 October.

Chronological list of events[]

This is a list of the significant events to occur at the club during the 2008–09 season, presented in chronological order. This list does not include transfers, which are listed in the transfers section below, or match results, which are in the results section.

Match results[]

Dundee United have played a total of 44 competitive matches during the 2008–09 season,[16] as well as six first team pre-season friendlies. The team finished fifth in the Scottish Premier League.

In the cup competitions, United lost to Celtic in the League Cup semi-final, while they were beaten by Hamilton Academical in the Scottish Cup fifth round.


The club began pre-season by winning the Keyline Cup in Oban on 12 July[17] before embarking on a short trip to Dublin where they played two friendlies against local sides.[18] Upon returning to Scotland, United beat Raith Rovers 4-0 and fellow Fife side Dunfermline Athletic 3-2[19] before a match against Barcelona for the second year running.[20] The friendlies culminated in a win at Plymouth Argyle where United faced former Terror Paul Sturrock.[21] United also sent sides to play in victories against Cowdenbeath,[22] Arbroath,[23] Forres Mechanics,[24] Dundee North End[25] and Blairgowrie.[26] A final friendly was planned against Lochee United[27] but was postponed due to heavy rain. In April, the club racked up an 8-0 win at Brora Rangers to mark the opening of the ground's new floodlights, with Andis Shala scoring a hat-trick.[28]

Scottish Premier League[]

Action during the 2–0 SPL home win against St Mirren
League positions

United began the season with a televised match away to promoted Hamilton Academical, which – despite taking the lead – they lost 3–1. Subsequent 1–1 draws at home to Celtic – another televised match in which Francisco Sandaza scored his first goal – and away to Motherwell produced the first points of the season but a home defeat to Kilmarnock and narrow defeat away to Hibernian left United bottom of the league after five matches. United's third televised match of the season saw them pick up their first league win at Aberdeen and was the first of four successive league victories, preceding home triumphs against Hearts, Inverness CT and St Mirren. The run of victories saw first league goals for summer signings Scott Robertson and Roy O'Donovan, with three clean sheets for goalkeeper Lukasz Zaluska. The St Mirren match was played three weeks after the Inverness match following the death of chairman Eddie Thompson, which led to the match against Rangers being postponed. As the St Mirren match was the first match following the death of the chairman, prices were reduced to just £5, prompting over 11,000 fans to attend and pay their respects with a minute's silence. United failed to make it five league wins in a row when they drew 0–0 at Falkirk but kept their unbeaten run going with an exciting 3–3 draw against Rangers at Ibrox and got back to winning ways with home wins over Aberdeen and Hibernian. A second successive 2–0 defeat to Kilmarnock – this time away from home – preceded a 1–1 draw at home to Hamilton, before wins at St Mirren and Inverness brought United back-to-back away victories for the first time since April 2007. United were involved in another high scoring match against Rangers in a 2-2 draw at Tannadice and followed it up by holding Hearts to a 0-0 draw at Tynecastle, closing 2008 with a home win against Falkirk.

2009 began with a draw at Celtic Park, despite being two goals behind but United's next match saw a 4-0 home collapse against Motherwell, only the club's second defeat in the previous 17 league matches. An exciting 3-2 win at home to St Mirren preceded a 2-0 defeat against Rangers at Ibrox, before draws at home to Inverness and away to Aberdeen. Rivals for third place Hearts won at Tannadice before United won away at Falkirk, with a defeat at Motherwell tempered by a home draw against Celtic. After conceding first at home for the seventh time in eight matches, United came from two goals down to draw with Hibernian, before beating Hamilton for the first time this season, securing a top six league finish. In the final match before the league split, United failed to gain further ground on Hearts for third place, being held at home by Kilmarnock to a goalless draw, ensuring United failed to score against the Ayrshire side all season. In the first match after the split, United's dominance of the entire match earned a win against Hibernian at Easter Road, before missing the chance to go third after a home draw against Aberdeen. United's final trip to Glasgow resulted in a narrow 2-1 loss against Celtic, with defeats against Heart of Midlothian and Rangers to close the season.

Post-split (Top six)[]

Upcoming Scottish Premier League fixtures are the intellectual property of the Scottish Premier League. For upcoming Premier League fixtures, see the official Dundee United FC website

Scottish Cup[]

United players warming up before the cup match against East Stirlingshire

United beat East Stirlingshire 4-0 at Ochilview Park in the Scottish Cup fourth round, with goals from Prince Buaben, Darren Dods, Jon Daly and Johnny Russell. Shortly before the match, United were drawn away to Hamilton Academical in the fifth round, where they were narrowly beaten 2-1, despite leading at half-time.

League Cup[]

Last season's runners-up United began their League Cup campaign away to Cowdenbeath, where a hat-trick from Jon Daly helped them to a 5–1 win. In the third round, Airdrie United – who United faced in the second round of last year's competition – were beaten 2–0, before a quarter-final win at home to Dunfermline Athletic. United faced Celtic in the semi-finals in late January where they lost11-10 on penalties, a record for a Scottish cup match.

Player stats[]

During the 2008–09 season so far, United have used 26 different players on the pitch. Łukasz Załuska is the only player to have played every minute this season. The table below shows the number of appearances and goals scored by each player.[29]

No. Pos Nat Player Total Clydesdale Bank Premier League Scottish Cup Co-operative Insurance Cup
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK Poland Łukasz Załuska 44 0 38 0 2 0 4 0
13 GK Northern Ireland Michael McGovern 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 DF Republic of Ireland Sean Dillon 24 0 19 0 2 0 3 0
3 DF England Danny Grainger 12 1 10 0 1 1 1 0
4 DF Scotland Lee Wilkie 39 5 35 5 1 0 3 0
5 DF Scotland Darren Dods 23 2 19 1 1 1 3 0
18 DF Scotland Garry Kenneth 29 1 25 1 2 0 2 0
23 DF Scotland Paul Dixon 33 1 29 1 1 0 3 0
24 DF Switzerland Mihael Kovačević 19 0 17 0 1 0 1 0
6 MF Republic of Ireland Willo Flood 23 0 19 0 1 0 3 0
6 MF Scotland Paul Caddis 11 0 11 0 0 0 0 0
8 MF Scotland Scott Robertson 25 5 22 3 0 0 3 2
10 MF Australia James Wesolowski 8 0 8 0 0 0 0 0
12 MF Scotland David Robertson 23 3 19 3 2 0 2 0
14 MF Scotland Danny Swanson 33 0 29 0 2 0 2 0
15 MF Scotland Craig Conway 41 4 35 4 2 0 4 0
16 MF France Morgaro Gomis 43 0 37 0 2 0 4 0
25 MF Ghana Prince Buaben 25 2 22 1 2 1 1 0
29 MF Scotland Ryan McCord 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
7 ST Northern Ireland Warren Feeney 26 6 23 6 1 0 2 0
10 ST Republic of Ireland Roy O'Donovan 13 1 11 1 0 0 2 0
9 ST Republic of Ireland Jon Daly 26 9 22 5 2 1 2 3
11 ST Spain Francisco Sandaza 35 10 31 10 1 0 3 0
20 ST Germany Andis Shala 9 0 8 0 0 0 1 0
26 ST Scotland David Goodwillie 17 6 15 3 0 0 2 3
30 ST Scotland Johnny Russell 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 0


Francisco Sandaza was the top scorer with ten goals, with the team totalling 58 goals.[29] During the 2008–09 season, fifteen United players received at least one caution. In total, the team received 60 yellow cards.[29]

Name Goals Bookings Dismissals
Prince Buaben Goal 2 Yellow card 4
Paul Caddis Yellow card 1
Craig Conway Goal 4 Yellow card 5
Jon Daly Goal 9 Yellow card 2
Sean Dillon Yellow card 1
Paul Dixon Goal 1 Yellow card 1 Red card 1
Darren Dods Goal 2 Yellow card 4
Warren Feeney Goal 6 Yellow card 5
Willo Flood Yellow card 7
Morgaro Gomis Yellow card 4
David Goodwillie Goal 6 Yellow card 2
Danny Grainger Goal 1 Yellow card 4
Garry Kenneth Goal 1 Yellow card 2
Mihael Kovacevic Yellow card 3
Roy O'Donovan Goal 1 Yellow card 2 Red card 1
David Robertson Goal 3 Yellow card 2
Scott Robertson Goal 5 Yellow card 2
Johnny Russell Goal 1
Francisco Sandaza Goal 10 Yellow card 6
Andis Shala Yellow card 1
James Wesolowski Yellow card 3
Lee Wilkie Goal 5 Yellow card 8
Own goals Goal 2



United signed eleven players during the season. Midfielder Scott Robertson agreed a pre-contract move from rivals Dundee on 3 June[30] and two players agreed similar moves on 17 June, with Northern Irish goalkeeper Michael McGovern agreeing to move from Celtic[31] and German striker Andis Shala arriving from VfR Mannheim.[31] Less than a week later, United signed a second player from Dundee when Scotland under-21 defender Paul Dixon arrived for around £25,000.[32] Willo Flood returned for a second successive season-long loan when terms were agreed with Cardiff City again on 1 July[33] and Cardiff colleague Warren Feeney followed in a similar deal a week later.[34] Shortly afterwards, Spanish striker Francisco Sandaza arrived on a three-year contract from Valencia Mestalla.[35] In August, Craig Levein's pursuit of Roy O'Donovan ended with a season-long deal for the Sunderland striker,[36] although he was recalled in January, as was Willo Flood, ahead of his transfer to Celtic. On transfer deadline day, Paul Caddis moved from Celtic Park until the end of the season, with Australian midfielder James Wesolowski joining on a similar deal from Leicester City although his spell was cut short by injury. Youngster Jennison Myrie-Williams joined in June following his release from Bristol City.

Date Player From Fee (£)
1 July 2008 Scotland Paul Dixon Dundee £25,000
1 July 2008 Republic of Ireland Willo Flood Cardiff City Loan
1 July 2008 Northern Ireland Michael McGovern Celtic Bosman
1 July 2008 Scotland Scott Robertson Dundee Bosman
1 July 2008 Germany Andis Shala VfR Mannheim Bosman
8 July 2008 Northern Ireland Warren Feeney Cardiff City Loan
11 July 2008 Spain Francisco Sandaza Valencia Mestalla Bosman
8 August 2008 Republic of Ireland Roy O'Donovan Sunderland Loan
2 February 2009 Scotland Paul Caddis Celtic Loan
2 February 2009 Australia James Wesolowski Leicester City Loan
12 June 2009 England Jennison Myrie-Williams Bristol City Free


The club sold only one player during the season, with Noel Hunt joining his brother Stephen at English side Reading for around £600,000.[37] Young striker Kevin Smith moved on loan to Raith Rovers until January,[38] with fellow youngsters Johnny Russell and John Gibson moving to Forfar Athletic on similar temporary deals.[39][40] Young left back Sean Fleming followed suit shortly afterwards when he joined Peterhead for four months.[41] Gibson's loan was subsequently extended until the end of the season, with young first team squad member Keith Watson joining him on a short-term loan, shortly afterwards Marco Andreoni undertook a similar deal with Albion Rovers. Sean Fleming moved back out on loan, joining Andreoni at Albion while young midfielder Ryan McCord moved short-term to Stirling Albion and Gordon Pope headed to Montrose. Kevin Smith went back to Raith after returning to Tannadice for a few weeks, with Johnny Russell returning to Forfar in similar fashion. Towards the end of February, midfielder Greg Cameron moved on loan to Irish outfit Shamrock Rovers, managed by former United player Michael O'Neill and Fraser Milligan departed to Montrose on a similar deal shortly afterwards. Youth goalkeeper Gibson signed a one-year deal with Dundee on his return to Tannadice. Similarly, Fleming, Pope and Milligan all penned two-year deals with Montrose at the end of May.

Date Player To Fee (£)
23 July 2008 Republic of Ireland Noel Hunt Reading £600,000
25 July 2008 Scotland Kevin Smith Raith Rovers Loan
20 August 2008 Scotland Johnny Russell Forfar Athletic Loan
28 August 2008 Scotland John Gibson Forfar Athletic Loan
30 August 2008 Scotland Sean Fleming Peterhead Loan
10 December 2008 Scotland Marco Andreoni Albion Rovers Loan
2 January 2009 Scotland Keith Watson Forfar Athletic Loan
6 January 2009 Scotland Ryan McCord Stirling Albion Loan
6 January 2009 Scotland Sean Fleming Albion Rovers Loan
23 January 2009 Scotland Gordon Pope Montrose Loan
23 January 2009 Scotland Kevin Smith Raith Rovers Loan
23 February 2009 Scotland Greg Cameron Shamrock Rovers Loan
6 March 2009 Scotland Fraser Milligan Montrose Loan
15 May 2009 Scotland John Gibson Dundee Free
29 May 2009 Scotland Sean Fleming Montrose Free
29 May 2009 Scotland Gordon Pope Montrose Free
29 May 2009 Scotland Fraser Milligan Montrose Free


Rising Star[]

September 2008

Playing kit[]

Home colours
Away colours

The jerseys were sponsored for the first time by JD Sports' Carbrini Sportswear label,[42][43] with the firm also sponsoring the shorts. Kitmaker Hummel supplied their last strip after the club announced in March 2009 that Nike would begin a four-year deal for the 2009–10 season.

The club has no third strip, with the last third strip used in the 2002–03 season.

See also[]


  1. ^ Roache, Ian (22 July 2008). "United reject £500,000 bid for Hunt". The Courier. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Reading increase offer for Hunt". The Courier. 22 July 2008. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Argyle's manager has Parkinson's". BBC Sport. 2008-07-28. Archived from the original on 29 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.
  4. ^ "Inverness Dods approach rejected". BBC Sport. 2008-08-28. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  5. ^ "Motherwell mourn death of Dolan". BBC Sport. 2008-09-01. Archived from the original on 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  6. ^ "U21 NEWS – SCOTLAND 3, SLOVENIA 1". Scottish FA. 2008-09-04. Archived from the original on 15 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  7. ^ "Conway agrees new Tannadice deal". BBC Sport. 2008-09-06. Archived from the original on 12 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-08.
  8. ^ "U21 NEWS – DENMARK 1, SCOTLAND 1". Scottish FA. 2008-09-09. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  9. ^ Roache, Ian (10 September 2008). "Departing Bennett in Dens link". The Courier. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 11 September 2008.
  10. ^ "Dundee Utd chairman Thompson dies". BBC Sport. 2008-10-15. Archived from the original on 18 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-15.
  11. ^ "StMirren game announcement". Dundee United F.C. 2008-10-20. Archived from the original on 25 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-20.
  12. ^ "Murray apologises to Dundee clubs". BBC Sport. 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  13. ^ "Dow named Rising Star". Scottish Premier League. 2008-11-05. Archived from the original on 17 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-05.
  14. ^ Conaghan, Martin (2009-04-11). "Hamilton 0-1 Dundee Utd". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 14 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  15. ^ "Double injury will rule out Smith until October". Press and Journal. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
  16. ^ "2008-09 - First Team Fixtures & Results". Dundee United F.C. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
  17. ^ "Saturday round-up". Hamilton Academical F.C. Retrieved 2008-07-12.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "2008–09 - First Team Fixtures & Results". Dundee United F.C. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  19. ^ "Dunfermline 2 Dundee United 3". Dunfermline Athletic F.C. 2008-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-22.
  20. ^ "Barca face Hibs and Dundee United". BBC Sport website. 2008-05-20. Retrieved 2008-05-20.
  21. ^ Dey, Graeme (22 May 2008). "Levein can enjoy Barca visit". The Courier. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2008.
  22. ^ "Cowdenbeath 2, Dundee United XI 4". Cowdenbeath F.C. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  23. ^ Dey, Graeme (7 June 2008). "Black Cats for Gayfield". The Courier. Archived from the original on 1 July 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2008.
  24. ^ "UNITED X1 DEFEAT FORRES MECHANICS". Dundee United F.C. 2008-07-30. Retrieved 2008-07-30.
  25. ^ "Sandaza southbound". Evening Telegraph. 31 July 2008. Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2008.
  26. ^ "U19 X1 DEFEAT BLAIRGOWRIE 3-2". Dundee United F.C. 2008-08-05. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
  27. ^ Dey, Graeme (5 August 2008). "Dingwall win was delight for Rae". The Courier. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2008.
  28. ^ "United turn on the style under Brora floodlights". Press and Journal. 2009-04-22. Retrieved 2009-04-22.
  29. ^ a b c "Dundee Utd 2008–09 player appearances". Soccerbase. Retrieved 2009-05-24.
  30. ^ "Dundee United seal Robertson deal". BBC Sport. 2008-06-03. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
  31. ^ a b "Dundee United confirm signings". Dundee United FC. 17 June 2008. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2008.
  32. ^ "Dixon delights in Dundee Utd move". BBC Sport. 2008-06-23. Retrieved 2008-06-23.
  33. ^ Etherson, Brian (2008-07-01). "Agent confirms Flood return". Setanta Sports. Retrieved 2008-07-01.[permanent dead link]
  34. ^ "Feeney signs Dundee Utd loan deal". BBC Sport. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  35. ^ "Sandaza signs for United". Dundee United F.C. 2008-07-11. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2008-07-11.
  36. ^ "O'Donovan in Tannadice loan deal". BBC Sport. 2008-08-08. Retrieved 2008-08-10.
  37. ^ "Dundee Utd sell Hunt to Reading". BBC Sport. 2008-07-23. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-23.
  38. ^ "Striker Smith joins Raith Rovers". BBC Sport. 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  39. ^ "JOHNNY RUSSELL ON LOAN TO FORFAR ATHLETIC". Dundee United F.C. 2008-08-20. Archived from the original on 23 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
  40. ^ "United loan goalkeeper to Forfar". BBC Sport. 2008-08-28. Archived from the original on 31 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-28.
  41. ^ Third, Paul (2008-08-30). "Peterhead grab versatile United ace Fleming". The Press and Journal. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  42. ^ Roache, Ian (14 April 2008). "United unveil new sponsor". The Courier. Archived from the original on 6 May 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2008.
  43. ^ Wood, Zoe (2008-04-13). "JD Sports scores Scots shirt deal". The Observer. Retrieved 2008-04-14.

External links[]