Barrow and nerves fuel debutanteMonday, 29th Feb 2016
Now everyone knows who PJ is - 17 year old, Paul Joseph Crossan made his debut against Stranraer on Saturday.
Paul Joseph Crossan made his first team debut in Dunfermline's 6-1 win over Stranraer last Saturday. As the goals rained in and the Pars took a 5-1 lead Allan Johnston told PJ, as everyone calls him, to go and get warmed up.
"I had nerves and this is the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of. We had a big crowd up at Aberdeen after they won the under 20s league last season. When he told me to go and warm up I just went and ran up and down, I had no idea what to do. I was buzzing.
"I have been on the bench and doing well in training. John Potter has been helping me a lot in the games and in training. He has been telling me to just keep doing what I am doing, 'you are not far away'. Hopefully Saturday is just the first step and I can just keep going."
PJ as he is known by everyone at the club is only seventeen but he demonstrates great strength in his play. He now wants promotion tied up as soon as possible in the hope that squad players will get a chance to prove their worthiness for a new contract.
He was as aware as everyone else in the crowd was on Saturday that his team mates were doing their best to set him up for a debut goal:-
"I thought Joe (Cardle) was just going to hit it but he passed me the ball. The first one I miskicked and the second I just tried to hit. I thought he was going to shoot for his hattrick. It was nice of Joe to pass me the ball for me to try and get a goal. I thought I should have done better. All the boys were trying to get me the ball and keep me involved in the game but Joe got his hattrick anyway."
Having scored three goals in his last four SPFL Development League matches, PJ was desperately unlucky not to score on his debut. The players on their part were their usual supportive selfs:-
"They always do in training. If I do something wrong they are the first to tell me that I need to do better. When I do something well they will also be the first to tell me that I have done well. They always encourage me and do their best to help me.
"The game went fast, it was a different tempo from the 20s but hopefully I can get on again."
PJ, the eldest in a family of four, hails from Motherwell and he attributes some of his success to former Pars striker, Andy Barrowman. PJ explained how that came about:-
"When Andy was here he helped me a lot and also when he was coach of the under 20s. He took me in close season and got me fit for pre season training. He just lives down the road from me and keeps saying to drop in on him.
"When he was here he was always telling me to work on holding the ball up and bring other people into the game. I think I have improved on that but I can always improve on everything."