A case for the defenceThursday, 25th Jun 2009
New boys Andy Dowie and Chris Higgins hope to form a successful pairing
Chris Higgins and Andy Dowie
Andy Dowie was in no doubt that he wanted to come to Dunfermline when he found out that Jim McIntyre was interested in him. "I believe that it is a step up in my career. I want to come here, work hard and try and get myself into the team."
"I had been offered another contract at Ross County but when I heard of the interest at Dunfermline it was a no brainer. I had lived up in Inverness for three years - it is a nice city but I was ready to come back down the road. I am pleased for my family from that point of view but I also feel that it is a step up for me."
The opportunity certainly exists for someone to fill the central defensive positions created by the departure of Scott Wilson, Greg Shields and Scott Thomson. Andy continued:-
"When the Manager spoke to me he told me that was where he saw me playing but at Ross County last season I also played right back and central midfield on a few occasions. I am a centre half first and foremost."
Andy Dowie at Pitreavie, Thursday 25th June
Andy would love to become a regular alongside other new boy Chris Higgins:-
"We are in similar situations; we have come from smaller clubs and hopefully we can form a partnership."
With a total of seven goals in the last three seasons at County, Andy is hoping to make a bigger impact at Dunfermline:-
"Now and again I get my head on to a corner. It is not my main job but I enjoy it when it happens. If a defender can pop up with four or five goals a season that's good. I managed to score a few at Ross County in the last two seasons so hopefully that can continue.
"This season my aim is to get promotion. You look at the signings made by the likes of Dundee but we have quality in our squad so there's no reason why we shouldn't make a challenge. They are buying plenty of players but I do not think they are better than the boys that are here."
He will have to return to Inverness to face newly relegated Caley Thistle and he will also come across his old club:-
"It is one of the games that I am looking forward to. I have good friends there and I hope they will manage to do quite well."
Andy knows many of his new team mates from playing against them but obviously got to know them better when they all came together for pre season training:-
"At the first training session I discovered they are a good bunch and I feel that I have settled in well already. It was tough session; you don't really know what to expect when you come to a new club because you do not know how the Manager operates and what he is going to be like. It is more or less what I imagined - tough and I can imagine it is only going to get harder. I am looking forward to the first friendly."
Chris Higgins on the first day as a Par
Chris Higgins was delighted to join Dunfermline. He too saw it as a big club with ambitions to return to the SPL:-
"That is what I want to do and hopefully it will come in the next two or three years. We are all looking forward to the challenge.
"There were a couple of teams interested in me but they seemed to want to hang off whereas I wanted to get things sorted early doors. In the end I was delighted that the Manager came along and offered me a contract. Dunfermline is a massive club and one in the First Division that you think I'd like to play for them.
"The Manager told me that he likes to play attacking football and he sees me in his plans. I was happy to that and I was really looking forward to today, meeting all the lads and the first game."
The centre half has also played left back but he claims to be primarily a centre half, "I am most comfortable in there."
Chris scored two goals last season, both at East End Park so at least he knows where the goals are.
"If I score a goal good and well but first and foremost it will be keeping it tight at the back." That could well be alongside Andy Dow:-
"Today was the first time I'd met him, he seems a good lad and hopefully we can make a good partnership. The main thing is that we get back to full fitness and prepare ourselves well for the games coming."
Like Andy, Chris is familar with most of his team mates as opponents. Alex Burke and Nick Phinn are no strangers, Joe Cardle was on loan at Clyde so he knows him.