Dunfermline Athletic

McGowan loving it at Dunfermline

Sunday, 7th May 2023

“We will sit down and speak, there is no rush for that. I have loved every minute of it.

It would seem that the end of the season might have come too soon for Paul McGowan. On Saturday the on-loan player made his third start of his eleven appearances and completed the full 90 minutes for just the second time since arriving from Dundee in late February. Paul topped off his time at Dunfermline pitching in with the second goal in the 2-0 away win to Alloa Athletic. He told the website:-

“I love playing football, I still have the enthusiasm for it and it was nice to cap it off with a goal and just give the fans a good send off as well. The boys have been brilliant all season and even since I have come in, they have been great. What a group, I can’t speak highly enough of them. They have the will to keep going when going goals down, honestly they are just relentless. They deserve everything that they get and it has been a great season for them personally as well.”

It has been a hard season for Paul personally after sustaining a knock on his knee which kept him out for four months in Dundee’s defeat at Cove Rangers in October. That was his 14th match of the season and even adding the 11 at Dunfermline a season total of 25 is far less than his mid 30s of recent seasons.

Paul has played for two title winning teams this season but unlike his team mate Sam Fisher he does not have the requisite 25% of league games to be entitled to a league winners medal.

Nevertheless Paul enjoyed the double celebration in the last week:-

“I watched the game. It is terrific for both of us. Since I have come here I have loved every minute of it. I was over the moon for Dundee, they deserve it as well because it has been a tough season for them. I was there for the majority of it, it was hard and to get it over the line it was just the Dundee way. It is just the way they do it, they always do it the hard way.

“You probably won’t see me at the front with the cup, I will be at the back clapping the boys because they deserve all the credit. The same with the Dundee boys, they deserve every ounce of credit that they get because, let me tell you, it is not easy.”

Paul still has fresh memories of making it through the Premiership play-offs with James McPake in season 2020-2021 and he described that as one of the hardest seasons in his career. Following some of the lowest points that he has had in his career, he was stunned by the way things changed culminating in two 2-1 wins over Kilmarnock to go up:-

“If you had told me before Christmas that we would go up through the play-offs I would never have believed you. To get that over the line is hard, you enjoy it but in a couple of days time you start out on the running track again.”

Paul now feels that he needs a good pre-season in him and he would be delighted if that was under James McPake and Dave Mackay again. He discussed his experiences in coming to Dunfermline and his admiration of the squad.

“Coming here I said to the manager that I didn’t think that I was ready to go. I’m an honest player, I had trained three or four days and I was still getting adjusted to getting back. He said that even off the pitch I could bring a lot.

“I get on with everybody, a bit of banter and he said coming here I would help them a lot but the boys did not need any help, they did it themselves. I came in and gave a small bit of that, it has been great.

“Training has been brilliant, then the games have been really good and the goal today to cap it all off. Personally I just had to get those 90 minutes, it has been a long time. The end of the season has probably come at the wrong time but that’s football.”

Asked where he is likely to be doing his next pre-season, Paul was honest:-

“I don’t know, I will speak to the manager and we will see. I would love to do another year here and do a pre-season with him because I know his pre-seasons are tough.

“I know I’m not getting any younger, I get that, but even on the field, I know that I bring a lot. I wouldn’t cheat. If I knew that I couldn’t do it then I would be honest with him. We will sit down and speak, there is no rush for that. I have loved every minute of it.”

Paul claimed that he couldn’t speak highly enough of Dunfermline as a club, the staff and everybody connected with it:-

“They have been unbelievable. The players have all been great with me and if it can be done, I’d love to be here. Because of Dave and the manager I have always looked out for their results.

“I was hoping that they would do well but they weren’t really making many signings at the start. That speaks volumes for what they have done because Falkirk had a good squad as well and I just felt that if Dunfermline had a couple of injuries they might struggle. Listen they have been absolutely brilliant and long may that continue for them.”

Paul predicted that Dunfermline could well be a force in the Championship next season:-

“In the games at home a lot of teams are sitting in against them but I don’t think that will be a case in the Championship. Since I came in, I think that has been a struggle. By all accounts a lot of draws and 1-0s at home when teams just come and sit in. Rightly so, they come and try and do a job by hitting on the counter.

“I think teams will come and open up more to them. There is bags of talent in there and they will add players as well. It is an exciting group and all credit to the manager and the coaching staff because that was a lot of the boys who got relegated. A lot maybe wrote them off as well, to bounce back up the way that they have is impressive.”

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