Dunfermline Athletic

Culture important with club signings

Wednesday, 28th Jul 2021

28/07/21: Peter Grant discusses the signings of Rhys Breen and Graham Dorrans

Above: left to right - Rhys Breen, Reece Cole, Graham Dorrans and Kai Kennedy

After what felt like several weeks of waiting manager Peter Grant brought in four players in the space of six days. His policy has always been to wait for the right player and for the quality that he feels will strengthen his squad.

With players of the calibre of Reece Cole and Kai Kennedy signed last week and then Rhys Breen and Graham Dorrans coming in this week, the Pars boss has certainly stuck to his promise and there is competition for starting places in the team. Peter was pleased and obviously delighted with the players who have come in. This week he revealed how he had finally secured Graham Dorrans’ signature:-

“I have always said it is worth waiting on when you are looking for quality. We got an opportunity and have been speaking to Graham for a little while now. We had a rough idea that he was coming back and I was involved in taking him down in the first place to West Brom, so I have known him a long time.

“I had an inkling that his daughter had not settled in Australia so once I got the opportunity to take the job, here he showed a great eagerness to come. His eagerness was probably ahead of mine because I wanted to make sure that he was making the right decision.

Above: Graham Dorrans

“Sometimes you jump into things just to get straight back and I think for us it was going to be important that he wanted to come here but looked about. He has that much quality I knew that there would be other clubs interested.”

The biggest selling point in Dunfermline’s favour was the fact that here was a club with ambition to be in the Premier League.

“Graham is at the stage in his career where he wants to play at highest level that he possibly can. We offered them that ability by letting him know that we would always be there waiting on him and once he made his mind up would he let us know. Thankfully when he made his mind up he decided to come to us.”

Graham Dorrans is the ninth signing of the Peter Grant era and he maintains that all his signings have been with bringing success in mind.

“I don’t bring anyone in here that I think can’t help us be successful. I’ve said that before and I think it’s important, I’ve seen it so many times as a player and as a coach.

Above: Rhys Breen

“I think you have to bring people in to make the dressing room and the training ground competitive. First and foremost you have got to do that and to do that you have to bring quality in.

“I feel as if I have 20-22 players now who are capable when every time I look over my shoulder, is capable of going on and keeping the game at the standard that we are expecting. The most important thing for us is that we have a squad of players now, and I’m not saying that we are finished, that I feel really happy with and if we can keep them fit I think we have a good mix.

“I am delighted with young Rhys Breen coming in because I thought he did very well against us for Queen of the South last year when we played against them. I didn’t realise that he had gone to Orange County when I asked Rangers if there was an opportunity.

“I was glad that we could actually purchase that one and he becomes a Dunfermline player, he is not a Rangers player and I am absolutely delighted because he is a young man with an unbelievable attitude to his game and I think it’s only going to get better.

“Left-sided centre backs are very difficult to get, I know how tough that can be so we are very pleased to get the two guys in the last couple of days.”

At the age of 34 Graham Dorrans will be the squad’s oldest outfield player. Peter acknowledges that his squad is nevertheless a young group and that he has considered that but he believes that ‘young groups are hungry groups’:-

“I think that is important when you bring senior players in that they have got to be your best professionals. They have to be the best at everything because they set the standard and if you have senior boys at your club they have to be the torch bearers. There are a lot of senior boys out there that you wouldn’t touch and I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way it is just fact.

“I know the culture that you want to bring to your club, I know the attitude of the players here, the young boys have been unbelievable. Their attitude to training has been magnificent and so that standard has got to be kept and it’s not just on the pitch. It is off the pitch they are also representing you. So the culture that they bring is so important.

“Graham has the experience of winning things, he won the Championship, he has played in the Premier League at the highest level, he has played international football and he is a top top quality player and you can see that by the clubs that were interested in him. I know the offers that he had and the different situations that he was in but the only thing we could sell them was the fact that we are trying to win the league. That is what we are trying to do.

“It was up to him to make a decision and I think it is great for us that he has decided to come here. He has obviously watched the games and he has seen something in the players that we have, and it’s great credit to the players because of the way they have gone about their business in the cup competition.

“Now we are going to be judged on the league programme and that is what we are ready for. To get someone of Graham’s experience in a very young group was seen on the training ground already. All of a sudden the players are ready to go and play and when they see somebody of his quality, who knows he can handle the ball understands his position and understands other peoples roles.

“I think it is important when someone plays in the role that Graham plays understands everybody else’s role in the team so that he can organise them. Maybe that is something that we have been missing because of lack of experience but with someone of his experience in the team and his football brain then hopefully it turns out to be the signing that we hope it will be. I’m sure it will be.”

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