Dunfermline Athletic

Return to Gayfield

Saturday, 21st Dec 2013

Josh Falkingham:- "It is the first time that I have ever gone back to an old club but obviously I will be looking forward to it.


Josh Falkingham claims "it is going to be a strange one" as he returns for the first to one of his former clubs:-

"It is the first time that I have ever gone back to an old club but obviously I will be looking forward to it. I have a lot of respect for people there and they did great things for me in my career. They gave me that platform to go and perform and showcase what I can do. That's what Paul Sheerin did and obviously I have a massive amount of respect for him and the coaching staff there.

"Everybody to do with the club because really loved me which as a player you always want to loved. That is what I was there. It was a great place and somewhere that will always stick out for myself."


Back in the summer of 2010 he decided to leave the SPL at St Johnstone and drop down three divisions to play at Gayfield.  The Arbroath manager Paul Sheerin was the reason behind Josh's decision to join the Angus club and was swayed because Josh knew Paul from his days at St Johnstone.  He gave the young Yorkshireman belief and he never looked back after that. Josh is "chuffed to bits" that his decision to join Arbroath rekindled his football career:-

"It could have been a bit of a disaster to do it. Before I went there they hadn't won a trophy in something like 123 years but to make history by winning a trophy was brilliant for the town. It was just what they deserved and obviously it was a great year for myself, picking up the award for the Young Player of the Year over all three divisions.

"All the accolades meant Paul Sheerin gave me a chance to just play my football like what I could do. There were a few standouts and a few things that I have just been chuffed to bits to get under my belt.  Even though it was effectively the Third Division no one is going to be able to take that medal away from me.

Josh Falkingham, Stephen Finnie and Alex Keddie
Josh Falkingham and Alex Keddie v their old clubs

"Paul brought in good players from St Johnstone as well - there was Gavin Swankie, Steven Dorris, himself. What turned my head was the way he played; the style of football he wanted to play.  A lot of people said that you wouldn't be able to do that in the Third Division but that's what we ended up doing.

"It just goes to show that if you play football you will win games and you will be successful no matter at what level. It was great for me that it turned out the way it did. We should have won the Second Division the year after but unfortunately Cowdenbeath were just a bit more consistent and they won it in the end. It was the disappointment of the two years that we did not go on a win that division because it was there for the taking.

"I do still look out for his results and I still speak to him as much as I can. I do feel for him because he has a hard job. We built a team with him there to go up but now he has lost most of it. There are not many players in the current team that was part of the team when I was there.

"We had some really good times but he has had to re-build. I am sure that with the qualities that he has got that he will definitely get through this tough time with flying colours."


Weather was a factor at matches across Scotland last weekend and could be again on this the last Saturday before Christmas. The Pars captain is well aware that the Gayfield pitch which has the North Sea washing its east wall can be a bit of a meteorological experience:-

"We had a tough game down at Ayr where the wind was blowing with force but that was a nice summer's day to be honest compared to the wind that I have experienced at Arbroath. It was a good thing for us because we know exactly where we stand; we can't use excuses, we can't use any reasons that we cannot play in conditions. We proved on Saturday, especially in the second half, just what a good performance it was. There was wind and rain on a freezing cold day but we still managed to play some really good stuff.

"We know what to expect. We know that around this time of year it could quite easily be like that. I played at Arbroath for two years and I think I had one day when it was nice and still. So I know what we are going to be up against and we have to take this into this game since it is going to be a tough one."

The reaction of the fans to former players is always something that can concern players but the 23 year old is hoping for a good reception from the Arbroath fans:-

"They didn't know too much about me when I first went there but I feel that when I left I couldn't say a bad word about them and I don't think that they couldn't say a bad about me. I'd like to think that anyway. Through social networking I still get a few tweets and it is all good stuff.


"I had a great relationship not just with the fans but with the staff and Chairman. When you go to little clubs like that and no disrespect in me saying that it is a little club, they know themselves, you get to know everybody. Not just sticking with the coaching staff or players, you meet everybody going through on the bus with you most games; there are people always on match days. They are a really good bunch of people - I'd like to think that I have definitely got a good relationship with the fans."

So can Josh lead his team to an eighth successive games without defeat?

"At Dunfermline we need to win games just as much as they do. I will be desperate to get the three points and counter getting beat by them at the start of the season. We need to put that right and we will be looking to take the three points and keep the good run going. The confidence is high, I will be trying my best for ninety minutes, being a nuisance - I always am."


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