Dunfermline Athletic

Martin teams up with Morris

Sunday, 15th Dec 2013

M&M have a sweet taste of success

Lewis Martin celebrates

The Dunfermline Athletic youth system continues to bear fruit. In the period after the Club went into administration in the Spring of 2013, Jim Jefferies was left relying on his young players to fulfil fixtures. Allan Smith and Kerr Young came into the side in which Ross Millen, Shaun Byrne and Alex Whittle had already established their places.

Seventeen year old Ryan Williamson has been introduced this season and now another seventeen year old has broken through into the first team. Lewis Martin made his first start in senior football when he lined up for Dunfermline against Ayr United on Saturday. The young centre back from Bonnybridge was only seventeen years and eight months but he acquitted himself well against two of the most difficult strikers in the league - Kevin Kyle and the League One topscorer Michael Moffat. He told the website:-

"I found out only the other day. I was told that I'd only be playing 60 minutes against St Mirren (on Wednesday night) and the day after that the gaffer told me that I would be starting"

Lewis Martin v Ayr

He couldn't have been given worse conditions for a defender's debut. The wind and rain were worse than blustery causing three matches in Scotland to be postponed and two abandoned. Lewis continued praising the support of his partner in central defence Callum Morris. At the grand old age of 23 years and 9 months Callum was the second oldest player in the starting eleven:-

"It was horrible but still brilliant; it was my first start. Big Cal talked me all the way through the game and I was up against Kevin Kyle who is a big strong boy."

Lewis Martin and Callum Morris v Ayr United

The new pairing could not be blamed for either of the two goals Ayr scored and Lewis can look forward to making many more appearances. Only snag is that the call up of both him and Ryan Williamson into the Scotland U18 squad that will meet in Largs for training on Wednesday has come at the wrong time for both the two Dunfermline starlets. Lewis explained what he thought might happen:-

"The gaffer has already told me and Ryan that we have to go and train on the Wednesday, then on the Thursday morning but I think we are coming back after that. They are playing bounce games on Thursday afternoon and on the Friday but he doesn't want us involved. The gaffer said that Mark Wotte phoned him and they discussed it."

Lewis Martin v Ayr

Lewis played first at boys club and was spotted by a Rangers scout while at Under 10, he gave a run down on his route to the Pars first eleven:-

"I was there from under tens right up to the start of under seventeens. I was doing well and was the captain all the way to the sixteens but at under seventeen it was a different coach and I wasn't getting a game or getting played centre midfield. Stephen Wright phoned me so I came through and ended up signing for Dunfermline. I did well at under seventeen and in the under twenties last year.

"Rangers have got Murray Park obviously but Dunfermline is much better; everybody gets better chances and if you work hard and are good enough then you will get a chance in the first team. At Rangers it is harder to get in to their first team."

It was a great experience for Lewis reaching the final of the Youth Cup last season and he feels fortunate that the U20s coach has specialist knowledge of a central defender's role:-

"John Potter has helped me at every training session, he has helped me improve my heading, my communication, my passing - everything, he is a great help."

Unfortunately neither his mother or father could be at Somerset Park on Saturday because of work commitments. His father, David, is a postman and he used to play for Alloa, St Johnstone and Dumbarton. Somehow no one needs to be concerned about seeing Lewis in the first team again any time soon!

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