Dunfermline Athletic

Fan, player now coach

Wednesday, 22nd Jun 2016

"I am just glad to be part of the club after everything that has happened at it. I have been made most welcome."

Dave Westwood is the club`s goalkeeping coach, his appointment is on a part time basis - Tuesday`s, Thursday`s and match days. He juggles his commitments with his employment at Rosyth Dockyard but this is no new experience. He told the website:-

"I have been involved with Dunfermline youths now for eight years, the last two with Fife Elite. I played for Dunfermline in 1984-85 and Dunfermline were my team. I have been supporting Dunfermline since I was a kid."

Dave followed the team to the 1968 Scottish Cup Final in which Dunfermline defeated Hearts 3-1 and has vivid memories of the team bus passing his supporters bus on the way back from Hampden.

"As a kid I remember stopping at Stepps in my dads bus from his work at the sorting office on the way home. The team bus pulled up alongside and when I looked up I said "it`s the Cup" and there was Roy Barry with the Cup. I was ten year old at the time and Roy says that he can remember doing that."

It is not a surprise then to find Dave Westwood return to East End Park. A former pupil of Woodmill High School, he played for Hill of Beath for 25 years and had a testimonial against Dunfermline when Jimmy Nicholl took a team to Keir`s Park. At the age of 46 he felt that it was time to give up playing and try to get his coaching badges.

Coaching started off as SFA Community level in 2002 and after coaching at Cowdenbeath, East Fife and Raith Rovers arrived in August 2006 as youth goalkeeping coach at Dunfermline Athletic. In August 2014 that became Fife Elite. He has still time to assist at Stirling Albion as well, meaning coupled with his commitments now to the senior team, his schedule is:-
Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Dunfermline
Tuesday and Thursday nights at Stirling Albion
Monday night Fife Elite
Match days with Dunfermline

Dave strongly believes that goalkeepers at a club derive much better development when there is a dedicated goalkeeping coach.

"If they are here themselves, they don`t quite push to the same limits. When there are eyes watching what they are doing and analysing what they are doing in games. Where there is match analysis we can look at play back of situations in games plus it is somebody to lean on. I have always been that sort of coach because I have been through what they have been through.

"I know the difficulties of the position and sometimes they just need a wee arm round them when they have done something wrong. Point them in the right direction when I think they have done wrong and they disagree. It is two way, it is conversational."

Dave was in at the club for twelve weeks at the end of last season after John Potter phoned and asked if there was any chance of getting Cammy Gill in to train at Stirling twice a week at night. Stirling said no problem but at the same time I was thinking to myself `what if?`

When John asked me what my situation was at work, it made me go in and speak to my director at work. He suggested that Dave submitted a case to get a release.

"I wrote a big screed and sent it to him. He was happy with it and got HRs approval. That was for twelve weeks at the end of last season and I think it benefited everybody. I have not been involved with full time players before but it is nothing different."

Dave now works with Sean Murdoch, David Hutton, Cammy Gill and Josh Dunn. He worked with Sean many years ago when Stevie Woods was the goalkeeping coach at Dunfermline and his own remit was with the youths. When Stevie went off with the Scotland Victory Shield team Dave stepped in to work with Dorus de Vries, Roddy McKenzie, Greg Paterson and Sean.

"That is how I knew Sean but I have known Cammy Gill (above) since Roger Arnot asked me to go and look at this eleven year old goalkeeper. I watched him and got him right in to training. He signed after about a month and he has been with us ever since. Cammy is 18 and he is a very decent young goalkeeper who has a good chance. Anybody who has played at Ibrox as a 15 year old in the under 20s has something about him.

"Davie Hutton is the only one that I did not know. I know Josh from Fife Elite last year. The four of them are fantastic to work with. They just get down to doing everything you want them to do and have a great laugh at the same time which makes it pleasant for everybody.

"There is not much between Davie and Sean, they are two good goalkeepers, it is just a matter of who takes their chance at the right time at the start of the season. You never know what can happen in a season with injuries, suspensions or loss of form.

"Sean did particularly well last year. the whole team played well last year and it was difficult for Davie to get himself planted into the team. Now it is an even playing field. both of them have to show what they are good at in the games coming up.

"I am looking forward to the season, I know a lot of the fans and I know that I will get a bit of stick which is all part of the fun. I am just glad to be part of the club after everything that has happened at it. I have been made most welcome."

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