Dunfermline Athletic

Stadium gives U18s lift off

Saturday, 22nd Oct 2022

Andrew Tod- “Playing here, I don’t know what it is, it just gives you that extra drive, that extra gear to go. You might be feeling cramp but you just get up and go.

There can be few sixteen year olds who would play down scoring a hattrick in 14 minutes, goals that took his team through to the next round of a cup tie. Few who would be happier with his surroundings than his goals. When Andrew Tod led out his team to face Greenock Morton in the second round of the SFA Youth Cup it was the KDM Group East End Park that was his biggest thrill and it remained that way at the end despite momentous personal moments in between:-

Even at his young age Andrew is fast brushing off the tag as the eldest son of Pars legend Andy Tod. He is creating his own history having already made two appearances in the Dunfermline Athletic first team and his rapid fire hattrick against Morton is the kind of event that fuels fans hopes of even greater things to come.

Having begun his journey at Kinross Colts, Andrew joined the Fife Elite Academy as a Dunfermline Athletic registered player in March 2016. In June this year he was one of five young players to be signed up on contracts at Dunfermline. His progress since then has been quick, he has regularly been on the bench for the first team this season, but it’s in the under 18s that he is currently making his mark.

His Friday night show was a joy to watch and his family watching in the stand must have been extremely proud. Andrew playing in a team that included his younger brother John as well, was just pleased to be on his field of dreams with supportive fans watching on:-

“After training at Rosyth coming here is so much different. The pitch is slick and like a carpet. The fans stuck by us, even at 1-0 down they were still cheering and when we scored it made it just even better in front of family and friends. The result made playing here different class. It makes everyone love it, it is just so good.”

Andrew admitted things didn’t exactly go as planned in the first half but with a well deserved equaliser midway through the second half the team was able to overcome their opponents in extra time. Andrew reflected:-

“It was tight with a setpiece goal first half but we came out and we were much better in the second half. We got the goal and the game just fizzled out to go into extra time. Then we just found another level, we just stuck together, fought for everything and got the goals in the end.

The equaliser launched the emotions and mirroring first team celebrations goalscorer Raymond Reddington raced to celebrate in front of an empty North West Stand but Andrew added:-

“If he keeps on going the way that he is, he might get a goal in front of the North West when there is a crowd there. It is just great to have fans here and playing at a stadium.”

Modesty prevailed as Andrew was reminded that he had scored a quick fire hattrick that would light up social media and drive up fans expectations of him:-

“To be fair, I didn’t have to do much to score them. Apart from the last one they were team goals, I just tucked that one away in the corner. It is not about the goals for me, it is just about winning and getting through to the next round.”

There was a rapid recovery from cramp prior to his second goal and he explained how again the venue spurred him on despite the pain:-

“I went down with the pass but got back up and found an extra level to get into the box. Neil Blake managed to cut it back and I just finished it but when you are playing here, when you have something to play for it makes it so much better. You can just find that extra gear and just go for it.

“We have a very good group in there in the changing room. We are all together, we just want to do well for each other and you can that on the pitch as well as everyone fights for every ball. It is just great togetherness all round.”

Andrew attended the SFA Performance school at Broughton in Edinburgh and they certainly seemed to have drilled out of young player any tradition of taking home the match ball, he stressed what really mattered to him:-

“Let them keep it, I don’t want the match ball. Getting through to the next round is all that matters. Hopefully we can get another home tie and play here again and embrace the moment.

“Playing here, I don’t know what it is, it just gives you that extra drive, that extra gear to go. You might be feeling cramp but you just get up and go. You know that if you score here it is just different class.”

Answering the typical post cup tie question regards his hopes for opponents in the next round of the SFA Youth Cup Andrew replied:-

“If it’s a home tie all the better but if it’s away we will go there and give it one hundred per cent like we do every time we step on any pitch. Togetherness all the way!”

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