Dunfermline Athletic

Fight of Fife for Falkingham

Friday, 25th Jul 2014

Fed up lying low, Dunfermline resident Josh Falkingham wants the bragging rights over his rival neighbours

Josh Falkingham admitted that coming back for pre season is not a nice thought but a necessary evil in preparation for Saturday's kick off:-

"You work hard, you put the workload in and the rewards are that come the first game of the season that we are firing on all cylinders. To be fair, the way that this pre season has gone - the results, the attitude that we have got and the new guys who have come in to the squad, I am just looking forward now to getting the ball rolling in competitive games."

The draw for the first round of the Petrofac Training Cup paired the Pars against their rivals the Rovers and Josh viewed this as a great start:-

"It is a nice one to go into and to be honest, with no disrespect to other teams, we could maybe have got an easier draw. You go either one way or the other. You could have got a nice easy draw at home that wouldn't have given you a true reflection of where you are, but this game is a big derby game and it is first up. After it, come six o'clock on Saturday, we will know exactly where we stand i.e. fitness wise, where we are as a squad and whether the pre season that we have done has been as good as we think.

"I am really looking forward to it. Raith have lost a couple but I think they have added a few faces as well, strong boys and it is going to be a really tough test. We got knocked out by them last year and they went on and won it. That sticks in your memory. Living in Dunfermline now, I am getting a bit of stick on social media because we are in a lower league than a couple of teams from the area. So it would be nice to get one over on our neighbours. We managed to do that at the start of last season against Cowdenbeath but we do not forget who put us out of this cup."

Josh has seen players come and go since joining the club just two years ago. Commenting on how the youth players who have come through will have gained from another year's experience, Josh commented:-

"I am one of those who was promoted from young to experienced boy, so even for me it is good to get another year under my belt. Experience you never lose, so it is always a good thing even after the disappointment we went through at the end of last season. We had a great season up until that very last game. In the end last season ended up being a tough one when it should have been a really good one.

"I think with the experience of everything like the younger ones coming in and taking their chances, they are only going to kick on even more this season. Then bringing in the likes of Michael Moffat is a good addition to the squad - a bit of experience, he has been there and done it. The new guys who have come in have definitely strengthened it."

For the 23 year old midfielder, there is only one ambition for this season and that is winning the league.

"In my eyes we have to win the league. Last year we knew that it was always going to be tough, Rangers did not lose a league game all season so you have to take your hat off to a team that does that. They might not always have played their best but sometimes that is what we have learnt as well.

"The pressure will all be on us now this year and sometimes it is all about winning in a dirty way and not the prettiest. If we can do that, that's how you win leagues. We watched Rangers last season, we were closest to them and finished best of the rest. When they needed to get results they won every game. We can learn from the way they went about it and dominated the league.

"I am not saying go unbeaten all season but make sure that we go into every game, as we always do, trying to win it. The target is to get promoted without play offs. I have had three play offs on the bounce now and not managed to win one. I thought last season was going to be third time lucky for me."

So who did Josh view as the Pars main competitors?

"You have got to look at Morton - they are a full time club. People looked at us last year - we were still a full time club whether we were young or not - and it does give you a massive advantage. That is what happened and that will only happen with them this year. For me - Morton but everybody else will have strengthened from what they had last season. It is not just us that has strengthened. Every team will have lost some and strengthened in areas they were weak on last season.

"Apart from Morton being our toughest challenge, Stranraer were written off at the start of last season and look how they came out of the pack. There are other challengers like Brechin and then there are new teams in Peterhead and Stirling Albion. I have been in that situation where you come off a really good season and it just continues. At Arbroath we won the league and finished second the following season. We got used to winning and took confidence from that, it just carried on into the next division. That can always happen so you have to be careful of those teams."

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