Kevin Gallacher column: Dunn effect still has its force at Blackburn Rovers (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Kevin Gallacher column: Dunn effect still has its force at Blackburn Rovers
IT comes as no surprise to me that Gary Bowyer wants to keep David Dunn at Ewood Park.
He is a character in the dressing room but also a Blackburn lad who also what is needed, what it means to be involved with the club.
At a time when bridges are continuing to be built between the club and the supporters after a few fractures over the years, then the impact of a person like Dunny cannot be underestimated.
And when it comes to improving such relationships, then the open letter from Venky’s was another important gesture.
The season ticket offer is another important step in trying to reach out to supporters and get more to come back to Ewood Park.
The 20 ‘golden season ticket’ offer is a nice way to mark the 20th anniversary of our Premier League win, but also only a slight in season ticket prices will hopefully encourage more fans to get behind their team again.
We seem to say it every year but the Championship is only getting stronger and the teams coming down will be looking to copy QPR and go straight back up again.
Whereas you used to be looking at a couple of clubs as strong candidates for promotion now it seems that any three from 10 could go up.
We have to make sure that we are in the mix, and a bigger backing will go a long way to helping that.
The likes of Dunny understand what it means to be involved with the club and supporters identify with that.
But it’s a strange situation when you get to this stage of his career. Everyone’s looking at you and your age but you can be thinking ‘I’m only 34/35 and I feel fitter than I’ve ever been’.
Players are playing longer these days, but I still think people look at your age as a stumbling block.
Yes the likes of Ryan Giggs and Graham Alexander are recent examples of players playing into their forties but they are still rare examples out of thousands of footballers.
You have a timespan for the level of football you’re playing at and how often you’re playing, and Dunny’s injury record over the last couple of years has to be taken into consideration.
I was fortunate, I played at the top level for 99 per cent of my career.
I decided to drop down into the Championship with Preston purely for coaching purposes so that I could understand players at that level better.
When Roy Keane, for example, went into management he couldn’t understand why players weren’t as good as he had been in his career.
That’s why I feel it’s important to experience other levels first-hand, and maybe that is something Dunny might consider - perhaps to play more regular first team football too.
But there is also the pull of ending your playing career with your hometown team, which I’m sure is something that is on his mind.
There are decisions to be made and they will not be easy.
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