Dunfermline Athletic

Different dimension from Stirling

Tuesday, 8th Jul 2014

Andrew Stirling hopes to bring width to Dunfermline's attack this season. Having been an opponent on no fewer than six occasions last season he discussed his experience of playing for Stranraer against Jim Jefferies' men:-

"Even at time when they lost the ball they still kept trying to play it from thing back, it wasn't just route one. I noticed everything is passing and obviously being full time they are going to be able to work on that. I felt that everything was through the middle so I am hoping that I can bring a different dimension and a plan B."

The 24 year old was encouraged by the way Dunfermline tried to build up attacks and at five foot seven that is a style that he hopes will suit him. The wide midfielder was aware that opposition managers were being impressed by Andy and his Stranraer team mates especially when they picked up good periods of form but he claimed all his attentions had been on finishing in the top four and said that he was just delighted to have joined Dunfermline. He revealed a little more:-

"Stranraer were confident when Dunfermline came down because we had done well and drawn against Inverness, we beat Ross County and gave Hibs a run so were not a bad team and were on a high. But when we came to East End Park on the big pitch that's when things start to tell on you. Every time we came here we got best."

Andy's team mate and former Pars midfielder, Steven Bell had encouraged him to join Dunfermline and made his decision easier:-

"Steven Bell told me that Dunfermline is a massive club - 'once you get into the team and do well the fans like you it is a great place to be.' He absolutely loved his time and he was the one who pushed me to come here. I was never not going to come but he gave me that incentive to go telling me how good it was."

As a part time footballer last season Andy was able to do some coaching and study Sports Science at Cardonald College. He spent a year in Washington State just outside Seattle at Kitsap Pumas, playing and coaching. His experience playing in the PDL (Professional Development League) saw him the likes of Vancouver Whitecaps but his ambitions now rest in the SPFL with high hopes of winning the title now that Rangers have been promoted.

One of the main contenders is bound to be Andy's old club Stranraer and he will be back there as a Dunfermline player on the last Saturday of next month. He sees no reason why he should not be welcomed back:-

"I had a good season and did well for them. They will see this as a step up for me that I had to do while I am still young enough. Training since coming in has been enjoyable and the style is all new to me. It has been tough but it is not just out and out running, the ball has been involved as well."

He confessed that the biggest hurdle was not falling asleep when he returned home after double training sessions.

"This is the first time that I have been coached by Neil McCann but I used to be John Potter's boot boy when I was at St Mirren. One day I lost one of his boots and I was getting the blame for it. I didn't lose it. He made me look high and low for it, he had me in skips and everything looking for one boot. I never ever found it!"

The Fife Derby that kicks off the season will be like nothing Andy has been involved in before. He described Ayr's games against Stranraer as 'tasty'.

"This is certainly my first big one and I know Raith's keeper David McGurn very well. He was my lecturer last year at college so it would be nice to put a few past him."



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