Dunfermline Athletic

Manager wants everyone passionate about the Pars

Wednesday, 6th Jan 2021

06/01/21: SC - “The way that we are going about our business shows that we are serious about trying to develop players but develop the club as well, it is two fold.

The first player to put pen to paper this January was the Pars 23 year old full back Aaron Comrie who was very happy to seal a two year extension to his contract. Manager Stevie Crawford said:-

“We are delighted to get a further two years on to his contract. He is a player who has come in and improved in his time with us. He has played 45 games but the important thing for me was that Aaron was keen to sign and he believes that he can get better,.

“There is belief in the coaching staff that Aaron can get better and he admits that there are parts of his game that he needs to improve on, which is pleasing. That makes it a relationship that can be exciting going forward.”

Like Ryan Dow, whose contract was extended prior to Christmas, Aaron confessed that it was not a hard decision to sign again since he wanted to remain at Dunfermline and help them to achieve their ambitions. Stevie was pleased to hear that his players shared his vision:-

“I think that we are a club that is moving forward and steadily in the right direction. We don’t see that there is a quick fix out there and the way that we are going about our business shows that we are serious about trying to develop players but develop the club as well, it is two fold.

“It is great that a few weeks ago Ryan Dow put pen to paper and Aaron has followed suit because they are players that we feel who will help the team. You want to play with good players and you want to be part of a squad that has good players. Aaron Comrie and Ryan Dow definitely come into that mould.”

Stevie is glad that the club has re-invested in the playing squad after the departure of Kevin Nisbet to Hibernian:-

“We are all getting tested, every industry not just football, but on the back of receiving a transfer fee for Kevin last year, there was much said about it but I think it was a shrewd bit of business that there has been an investment back into the playing squad. We are very much making sure that we are running within our means.”

The Pars gaffer felt that there was an excitement when Aaron Comrie was signed from St Johnstone in May 2019 . Despite his then 22 years, the former Celtic youth player had only made 16 first team appearances for the Perth club after joining them at Under 17 level. Aaron however he has grabbed the opportunity at East End with both hands. In his first season at Dunfermline he started 34 of the club’s 35 fixtures, playing every minute of every game up until being injured in the game against Dundee United on 29th February. Stevie strongly believes that this sends out a message to others who might be interested in coming to play for Dunfermline:-

“It is having the belief that you are giving people opportunities and what happens is that you get the knock on effect of other players wanting to come and sign at the club. I think that we are reaping the rewards from that.

“At a club like Dunfermline we have got to make sure that we are ambitious as well. It can be a hard thing to try and get going but I think that there has been improvement in terms of where we find ourselves in the league at the moment, having that genuine ambition to be competing at the top end of this league and bringing players to the club who have their better years ahead of them.”

Stevie reflected on his time as a player at Raith Rovers in the early nineties and how the positivity about a club can really work in its favour:-

“It is collective for me, not just the players, everybody about the club. I can remember what it was like at Raith Rovers when I broke into the first team there as a YTS. Everybody played their part in that, not just the football side, the admin, groundsman and everybody connected with the club.

“There was a feel good factor about the place and everybody had each other’s back. I am not trying to be weird and wonderful about what I trying to create here, I just want people who are passionate about the club.

“I want people who have a feeling for the club and if that leads to players moving on to other things then we are hopeful that means Dunfermline will benefit from that. We would wish the players all the best with their futures. If the players are here and they are doing the business and it takes the club forward then great.”

The January transfer window is open and the manager claims that everyone is working behind the scenes but warns that doesn’t guarantee getting anything over the line in January:-

“I know that there are a number of things that you have to overcome. I have had really good conversations with the chairman to see if we can try and bolster the squad to help them.

“I don’t want to take away anything from what the players have done so far but you are going to be tested. We have come through the first third there, we still have two thirds of the season to go and I think we are going to be tried and tested over that period. If we can do something to help the squad then it is something that we will look to address.”

So is that likely to be signings, loans or both?

“You know what I’m like on that one, I will not rule anything out. Ideally you want to bring players in who are going to be part of Dunfermline, moving forward they are going to be your own player. Equally I have always said that any players that we bring in here on loan, a big part of it even if they are only here for a short spell, is that they go away with a feeling that they will probably want to come back here one day.

Above: current on loan players - Lewis Mayo, Kerr McInroy and Fraser Murray

“That doesn’t guarantee that, or they can possibly go and talk to another player in the game and say that Dunfermline treated them fairly and gave them an opportunity to play football at a very good level. That is why I think the loan market is something that we will continue to use but as I say we have not identified a specific at the moment.”

Finally asked if the recent German investment might expand the potential markets that might be offered to him, Stevie responded:-

“The investment group are there to support us. They will be networking in other areas and parts of Europe for us but at this testing time with covid, restrictions and protocols and guidelines that we have to follow, it becomes harder not just for ourselves but for football in general.

“The main thing that I keep going back to on the investment is that we know that the bigger picture is trying to develop the club and possibly somewhere down the line looking at our own training facilities. It is challenging but we have the support of the investment group.”

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