ONE of the "most respected coaches" in the UK has touched down in West Fife to work with the Dunfermline Kings.

Don Edmonston, whose American Football CV includes coaching BAFA (British American Football Association) Premier Division Edinburgh Wolves to three national finals, has agreed to take on a consultant coach role with the club.

The 53-year-old will work with head coach of the Kings' contact team, Alistair Choat, and others to help them in their quest to be competitive when they play BAFA football themselves.

The Duloch-based club made it through the associate process to join the NFC (Northern Football Conference) Two North for the 2020 season but, due to the outbreak of coronavirus, they have yet to compete at that level.

Question marks remain over the 2021 season but Edmonston, who began playing the sport in 1988 with the Fife 49ers, believes the Kings are in a good place to continue moving forward.

Last month, they announced that all three of their teams – the Dunfermline Kings (the full-contact squad), Carnegie Flag Football (non-contact) and the Dunfermline Saints, a youth team – which, formerly, came under the banner of Carnegie American Football Club, would come together under the umbrella of Dunfermline Kings.

Edmonston, who in addition to coaching the Wolves for 14 years is an educator with the British American Football Coaches' Association, and worked with the GB Lions for four years having won one gold and two bronze medals with them previously as a player, told Press Sport he sees similarities with when he took over the capital club.

"I know several of their coaches; two of them used to be with me at Edinburgh Wolves when I coached there, and we had a discussion about what we could do," he explained.

"They needed some help. I can't commit to going back to being a full-time coach like I was the last time with the Wolves so this consultant role is something I spoke with the head coach, Ali, about. It's a way for me to help the team but not be putting in 30-40 hours a week like I was at the Wolves.

"My main role is to help the head coach and other coaches see things in a different light. They've not actually played any league football yet so there's a lot of experience that comes with that, and the coaches and players that are at the team don't have that experience.

"Hopefully, I'll be able to pass that on; I see my job more as mentoring the coaches as well as the players.

"They're in a better position than the Wolves were when I took over the Wolves because they've already got a junior system, flag – they've got everything there. They've got a well-run club.

"There's no doubt that, behind the scenes, they've got a robust committee and run things really well. From that point of view, they're probably two or three years ahead of where I was with the Wolves when I started with the Wolves in 2005/06.

"All the teams have been brought under one category, exactly what we did at the Wolves, so they've got a good club structure. I think they've got two high schools where they've got kids who do training sessions and, if they get into the league, they should be able to graduate their juniors through, which goes well for the longevity of the club."

Even though current restrictions mean they can't train, Edmonston has been studying playing styles from afar already and continued: "I think the four years that they missed getting into the league actually did them a service, rather than being something that was a disadvantage.

"Some of the guys that have been there three or four years have never played league football but they never quit. You know they're dedicated to it so I'm just hoping that, when they do get to play football, and hopefully it's this year, that they retain those guys.

"They've got a great mix of older guys with a little bit of experience, who have come from other clubs, and a lot of young guys who only know football through Dunfermline.

"It's my job to help the coaches, help the players, to get up to the level that they want to be at to start winning games."

Kings chairman Tony Reid said their new recruit had been helpful in the associate process in his role as an assessor, and commented: "He knows us, he knows the club because he's been there when we've been playing games, he knows the set-up we have, the facilities we have and the equipment we have, and he also knows some of the old guard in the team.

"We have some good coaches, and what I'm looking for with Don coming on board is upskilling the coaches as opposed to anything else.

"I've been to joint training sessions with us and the Wolves a couple of years ago. At the time, Don was the offensive line coach where I play, and I learned stuff from him in just one day.

"His knowledge is fantastic, his connections are fantastic, and he's going to be a massive bonus for the club but also for the coaches and players to tap into that extensive knowledge and skills that he has.

"I have no doubt that this has caused a big stir because he's basically one of the biggest, best and most respected coaches in the UK, and he's come to a Division Two team."