Dunfermline Athletic

Callum Davidson - the interview

Friday, 15th Feb 2019

“For me it is all about helping players to improve, make them better and make them enjoy themselves. Play with a passion, play with enthusiasm that is what coaching is about. ...

“I know Stevie quite well from doing our pro licences together. We have spent the last two years studying away, it was a good group and I got on really well with him. That was how it came about. Obviously I had left my role at Stoke, I got a call to come and meet him. We had a wee chat and here we are.

“It all happened last week, at the pro licence we talk a lot about what we like and what we don’t like. We had to have a chat to see how each other worked and see if that was compatible. We are both football people so it was pretty easy.

“Coaching in football is full of different experiences. I was at St Johnstone for five great years before I had the chance to go to Stoke City. Amongst that I worked with Gordon Strachan for five or six games at the National team.

“For me it is more about gaining experience, it doesn’t matter what level you are at. For me it is all about helping players to improve, make them better and make them enjoy themselves. Play with a passion, play with enthusiasm that is what coaching is about. First and foremost it is about winning games and hopefully we can start on Saturday.

“That is how I see it, it depends where you are but varying experiences will make me a better coach and a better person.”

Callum Davidson talks to Pars TV
Fri, 15th Feb 2019

So how will Callum complement the styles of Stevie Crawford and Greg Shields?

“It was my first day today, so I will probably be able to tell you more at the end of the season whether they hate them, whether I’m annoying but I like to think that the role as an assistant is a role where you have to adapt.

“When you are the manager you can be what you want to be, but as an assistant where your strength lies is adapting and finding areas where I can improve the club, improve the team and how I can help Stevie improve as well. That is my role helping everyone improve.”

Callum sees a great benefit in that he is a defender and Stevie a striker. The two will possibly be looking at games differently.

“It is a big thing. Defenders don’t want to concede, strikers always want to score but it is a good mindset. It is funny because I am trying to think how do strikers think - what are they thinking about when this happens and he will be thinking the other way. It is a good combination, a lot of successful combinations when players all over the pitch come into coaching. Hopefully I can add.”

After one day on the training ground what was Callum thinking?

“I have watched a lot of clips, I think that there are a lot of good players here. Sometimes when you are struggling a little it is confidence. You have to build that confidence. The biggest thing I can take from my experiences is team spirit. They must stick together, unite as a team because if you don’t it becomes very difficult as a group of players.

“The biggest thing for me is the cohesion in the team, making sure that they are all playing together, all playing for the one goal and that is to be successful, win games of football.

“I know as a player with a couple of relegations and a couple of promotions, I know what goes on. The biggest thing for me is confidence and cohesion.”

The lack of results suggests to Callum that there is a lack of confidence.

“I have looked at some of the games and they have been a little unlucky and not got the rub of the green. It is just about getting those wins, that is really important and from there you can move forward.

“I guess it will be a tough game on Saturday against Inverness who played really well against Ross County. They are a good experienced team as well.

“My first impressions is that the Dunfermline squad is quite young, so it is confidence more so with them. There aren’t really many older players and I think you need the older players in the team to step up and lead the boys.

“The likes of Vincent, Craigen, Ashcroft and Devine need to step up and start leading the team. I knew a few of them before I came. Unfortunately Craigen told me that he was an under 12 player when I played for Preston. He was playing for Preston under 12s so that made me feel really old!

“Danny Devine was a young lad at under 20 at Preston as well. I have been up here a while, some of them probably won’t admit it but I have played against some them.

“They were a lively bunch today, they seemed to be in really good spirit and that is quite positive.”

Callum is at East End Park until the end of the season, he added:-

“Stevie and I have to be able to work together. It would be pretty stupid to say I would be here for longer. I think that was the sensible decision to take. I am just out of a job and sometimes your head is a little bit all over the place so for me, I was delighted to get back in coaching. That is what I love doing. Hopefully we can have a good end to the season and we will take it from there.

“We have a big thirteen games to go and it is really important that we concentrate on those games and see where it takes us.”

Stevie Crawford said that Callum is young and ambitious.

“I had a decent chat with him about what he could bring to the table on the football side. The massive attraction for myself was the type of character that he is. He is well respected within the game, he has been at St Johnstone where he and Tommy (Wright) put together squads that competed at the top end of the Premiership. On a probably restricted budget at St Johnstone they punched above their weight.

“Callum is experienced for as much as he is young. Having spoken to Ross (McArthur) his vision for the club is that he wants people who are hungry. That is right throughout the club whether it is coaching staff, players, anybody who is working here. He wants hungry people who have a feeling for the place and know what the club is all about.

“Callum has coached at international level, he has coached in the Scottish Premiership, he has played in England, coached at a big club like Stoke City and it was important to utilise that experience.

“He has a calm head on him, he was a team player and is well respected. He could have possibly held out for maybe something that he felt was maybe bigger or better. Having had that conversation we have got him on board now and he will be a great addition, not just for me and Greg but for the players as well.

“He is here until the end of the season and we will see where things go from there.”

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