Steven Milne was a product of the Dundee youth system. In his two spells with the club totaling 9 years, he would make 168 appearances and scored 42 times in all competitions for the Dee.
Steven was kind enough to speak to the UWTB website to answer a few questions. Here’s what he had to say below.
You made your debut in our 97/98 1st Division League winning season against St Mirren. What was it like coming through the ranks and making your debut?
It was an amazing experience having signed for the club as a 13 year old and progressing to the first team. My debut came out the blue a bit, and looking back I don’t feel I was ready, but it gave me a taste of it and I knew if I worked hard I’d get other chances in the future.
You were handed a 2 and a half year deal a few days after making your debut. What was it like signing your first professional contract?
It was a great relief to sign a professional contract, as the uncertainty amongst the youth players over what to do if released was difficult. I was able to relax and just enjoy my football without worrying over what may happen in the summer.
You had to wait a few more years before playing again for Dundee but in season 99/00 you were loaned out to Forfar were you made an immediate impact scoring 19 goals in 39 games. You also won the Third Division Player of the Year award. How much did that season mean to you?
That season was incredible for me. I’d sold programmes at Forfar and used to go to all the games with my dad (who used to steward). So to not only play for them, but to get promoted, be top goal scorer and win player of the division gave me the belief to really get in to the Dundee first team squad the following season.
John McCormack was the manager who gave you your debut but it was Jocky Scott who loaned you out after replacing him as Dundee manager. Did you maybe think your time was up with being loaned out by the new manager or was this a chance for you to show him what you were capable of?
I didn’t have time to think my time was up, as Jocky pulled me in his office and said Forfar wanted to take me on loan for the season and he thought it would be good for my development. But in the same conversation he told me not to think I was being pushed away, and instead offered me an improved and extended contract at the same time.
From making your debut in 1997 to leaving the club in 2004 and then from 2011 to 2013, you played under numerous managers. Who was the best manager you worked with?
Each manager brought different ideas and tactics, I enjoyed working with almost all of them. My favourite would probably be Jocky Scott however, we seemed to get on really well, and still do. I’m actually reading his book at the moment.
You started in the 2002/03 Scottish Cup Semi Final and came on as a substitute in the Final which we unfortunately lost. How surreal was it to be playing in these types of game?
These were massive games for the club, and although losing the final, it was an amazing experience and one which I’ll never forget. The amount of Dundee fans there at Hampden was great to see.
You’ve played for 6 teams in your career (Dundee, Forfar, Plymouth, St Johnstone, Ross County and Arbroath). What part of your playing career did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed playing for Forfar, St Johnstone and Dundee, and they all had massive high points in my career, but the fact I came through the youth system at Dundee, sways my decision towards them.
I remember you scored a hat-trick in 49 minutes away to Hamilton back in 2011 which I still think is the last time any player for Dundee has done so in the league. What goals for Dundee do you remember the best?
There’s a few ones that meant more than others, the first being the goal against Dundee United at tannadice not long after the first administration. The second would be my first for the club against St Mirren in a 5-0 win at dens, and lastly I really enjoyed my 2nd against Hamilton in that hat trick game, as it was one of the best ones I’ve ever scored.
You played under Barry Smith, he was your captain and then your gaffer. What’s it like being a team mate with someone then down the line they are your manager?
It took a bit of getting used to, and I couldn’t call him gaffer!!! But he is a great guy and easy to play under.