Dunfermline Athletic

Craig Easton raring to play

Saturday, 29th Oct 2011

"Any time you play against them you want to do well. I was there for nine years and I loved it there.

Craig Easton

Craig Easton acknowledges that Dundee United gave him a great start in football. He enjoyed coming through the ranks there but claims that it would be nice to play at some point on Saturday and get a result against them.

"It would be good to play on Saturday. It's always good when you go back and play at your old club. Any time you play against them you want to do well. I was there for nine years and I loved it there. It didn't maybe finish how I would have wanted it to, but I loved it."

The last time Dundee United won a league match at East End Park was in the season in which Craig made his United debut although he has not involved that April afternoon. This time United will be out to remove that record and in doing so recover some pride following their cup exit in midweek to a team from a lower league. Craig observed:-.

"For me, it was a tough tie for them the other night. I don't think anybody can be anything other than surprised. It's a big club and we know they're going to be coming here trying to put that out of their memory. They've got an opportunity to put that behind them. Falkirk are a good side but it still hurts when you get beaten by a team a lot of people think you should be beating and they'll be trying to put that behind them with a result against us. But we'll be out to stop that and obviously try and get the three points ourselves."

Craig Easton

When he left Tannadice in July 2004 Craig joined Livingston and played twice against them drawing the first but losing 1-0 on his return to Tannadice. At the end of 2004-05 season Craig joined Leyton Orient and went on to make over 80 appearances for them. Significant contributions were also made at Swindon Town and at Southend United last season. He did not know if he would return to Scotland again and if he would ever come up against his first employers.

"I loved my time down in England, the six years were brilliant, I'm not going to lie. It's just another direction. At the end of last season I thought I was probably going to stay down there, if I'm honest, with Southend. But I couldn't sort things out with them, a couple of other things fell through, and I got an opportunity to come back to the Premier League, which I thought was a great chance for me to play at a good standard.

"You never know what's on the cards. That's football, you don't know where it's going to take you. We played against them in a bounce game a couple of weeks ago and it was a totally different team, I didn't know anybody. Obviously, I know of them, I had heard of the lads there, but I don't know them personally."

Craig Easton

There were two familiar faces on the sidelines however.

" Paul Hegarty and Dave Bowman are still at the club, Dundee United men at heart and they've got a good wee set-up there. I had a wee bit of banter with Bowman, but you don't want to have too much banter with him because you don't know what he's going to do, he's a madman!

"When I had just started there, ' Bow' was one of the players still there. I played a few games with him in the centre of midfield and it's great to be around players like that. Paul Hegarty dealt with the youth team at the time and it was great experience being around people like that, with the experience they've got. They helped a lot of the young boys, which was good - and they battered us as well, by the way!"

At the age of 32 Craig is now willing to help the younger squad members:-

"If I can help any of the young lads then brilliant. I know how much it meant to me with guys like Maurice Malpas and Dave Bowman, even the Swedish boys that came in - Etterlund, Pedersson, Olofsson and Jonsson - at the time I was coming through.

"It's just good to be about boys like that, you pick up so many things that I've taken with me in my career and use now. If I can pass on anything then I think you've got a responsibility in a way. We've got a lot of good experienced pros here - John Potter, Paul Gallacher. You try your best and whether they listen to you or not is up to them.

"I suppose I probably did the same when I was younger. You think you know everything, but you've definitely got to take on board what these boys say and I tried to do that when I was younger. When I went full-time at the club it was Billy Kirkwood that was manager for a spell and then Tommy McLean took over and he gave me my debut."

That Dundee United debut came on New Years Day 1997 when he was a 77th minute sub for Jim McInally against Aberdeen. For Dunfermline Craig made his debut at Kilmarnock on 10th September but has only played once since at Aberdeen. He admitted that it did feel it had been a bit stop-start since he arrived:-

"It was good to get right in against Killie and then I did my ankle after 15 minutes, which was just a bit of bad luck. I missed a couple of weeks and came back but, unfortunately, it wasn't the best of comebacks as we got beat 4-0 by Aberdeen. Since then I've been on the bench a couple of times.

"I'm dying to get involved. I just need a bit of match sharpness. I've had a couple of games between the Aberdeen game and now and hopefully I'm getting myself back to where I should be."

Craig Easton

So what did Craig think about what he'd seen so far in the SPL?

"Everyone's pretty tight in the SPL and even the gap between the Old Firm and the rest of the clubs is a bit closer than it was before I left. When we played Kilmarnock it was a tight game. They tried to play football, a lot of teams are trying to play a bit of football, and anybody can beat anybody on their day."

The midfielder clearly needs to get involved at Dunfermline and knows that he only has a limited time in which to prove his worth:-

"I'm here until January and it's up to me what I do between now and January to see where it goes from there. If the gaffer gives me an opportunity, whether it's a Saturday or whenever, I just need to take it. I'll work hard in training, work hard in games and see where it goes."

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