Dunfermline Athletic

Sleepless nights ahead for Stevie

Friday, 25th Sep 2020

25/09/20: SC - “I now feel that we have a squad of boys that are hungry to go on and try and be successful.”

The exciting thing for Dunfermline Athletic football club is that we have young talent wanting to come and be part of things here, claimed manager Stevie Crawford. On Tuesday, he added young Celtic midfielder Kerr McInroy to his squad and now just three days later completed the signing of two more loan players, 20 year old Lewis Mayo from Rangers and 21 year old Fraser Murray from Hibernian. The manager was smiling widely in the wake of these additions to the club and told the website:-

“They know that it is competitive and they are willing to fight for their place in the team. When I have spoken to the boys themselves it is not an absolute shoe in that they are coming here to be guaranteed football but they are at good clubs. At their parent clubs that is part of football and not to be frightened of challenges.

“You have got to put them in a situation that is going to educate them. Coming to a club like Dunfermline shows that they have got ambition in themselves and they have got a belief in their own ability.

“They have done their homework on us as well and they realise that the squad that we have managed to put together is an ambitious one that wants to kick on in the Championship now.

“It is exciting that we have three young Scottish players that are on contacts and well thought of at their own clubs. These clubs are now trusting us as well as the players wanting to be part of things here.”

Earlier in the day in his first interview, Lewis Mayo acknowledged the competition for places in the defence. Stevie was delighted that the 20 year old centre back snapped up that challenge:-

“There is nothing wrong in having confidence in your own ability. There is a fine line between confidence and being too arrogant. I think to play at a club like Dunfermline and then kick on and play in the highest league, you do have to have a certain amount of arrogance but in a respectful manner that you want to be the best player.

“As well as being the best player you also want to be a team player and the players that do that best tend to have a good career in the game. I am sure they will bring that side of things they will bring that to he club as well. It will be something for our younger players and maybe some of our players who have not been fortunate enough to play their careers in the top level of the game and wanting to get there, that they can pick up from the boys that we have brought in.”

Stevie had noticed Lewis Mayo as a stand out while on loan to Partick Thistle earlier this year. While watching future opponents and as an opposing tram player the Rangers man had caught the eye:-

“When I spoke to Lewis we did mention the three games he played for Partick, I think in the space of a week. Myself and Greg (Shields) watched a competitive game when Partick played Queen of the South and we liked the look of Lewis that night. Then he gave us a bit of a hard time in the first half on the Tuesday night at Firhill until we changed the formation at half time. He was certainly a good performer.

“Lewis has a vision of the way he wants his career to go. He thought that Dunfermline was going to allow him to educate and develop his game.”

Fraser Murray is another player that has been in the manager’s vision for two or three years. The 21 year old has been training with Dunfermline lately and played in both the closed doors friendlies in the last week against Stenhousemuir and Spartans. He continued:-

“We have a good relationship with Hibs. I obviously know Jack (Ross) and John (Potter) well but I sometimes think that you have to make sure that it is the right fit. For one reason or another he has not managed to force himself into the Hibernian first team squad on a regular basis.

“He is at an age now where he feels that it is right for him to come out and develop. He will be a welcomed addition, I think he can play anywhere along the front three but in the friendly last week against Stenhousemuir we played him in central midfield position alongside Steven Whittaker because he is a footballer who can deal with the ball.

“Do I see him playing there in his spell here? Probably not in the central midfield role but anyone of the attacking three, just of the striker, wide left or wide right. He has got the flexibility and he can vary his game. He is direct, I think that he will add goals to his game here.

“He is different in the dynamics in the way that Dom Thomas plays, different from Ryan Dow. I think the three of them have now got qualities where everyone of them is different and will be exciting for our fans to watch. Hopefully we will see him get in amongst the goals and plenty of assists.”

The emerging abundance of choice has led to Stevie joking to the chairman that he is going to have sleepless Friday nights now trying to play fifteen players.

“I have got to be thankful to everybody at the club, not just the chairman, that now eighteen months or so down the line what a headache it is going to be to pick a starting eleven. I was lucky enough as a player that there was competition for places and I want it to come across, if there are players not starting for us now they will be champing at the bit to get in.

“The boys that are playing know that they are going to have to play to a certain level and that for me brings excitement. It is not a threat in any way because I want my players that are playing on a Saturday, to play with confidence, to play with a belief in themselves but knowing that there is genuine competition. Whoever we need to replace during a game or they go through a small loss of form that somebody will come in and take this club forward.

“I now feel that we have a squad of boys that are hungry to go on and try and be successful.”

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