Dunfermline Athletic

Callum Smith an example of the belief

Friday, 12th Jul 2019

“We have shown that young boys can do it. Shieldsie is always saying ’believe in yourselves, you are brilliant players’ we went to Kelty and showed that.”

Callum Smith has come through his third pre season at Dunfermline and tough as that experience has been, the nineteen year old is feeling extremely fit, ready and optimistic for the season ahead.

He took great comfort from the Dunfermline reserves pre season friendly against Kelty Hearts on Wednesday night. Last season the Under 20s went down 5-1 at New Central Park, this season even with a long list of new and experienced signings the Kelty Hearts team were defeated 3-0. Callum reflected:-

”We came here as the underdogs, a young team against Kelty Hearts who have a good squad. Shieldsie got us fired up before the game saying ’just go out and do what you have been taught in training all pre season’ and that is what we have done. We got a good result.

”I think it could be down to fitness, we have been in for a while now running most days and it has been really tough. I think it showed against Kelty.”

The performance was boosted by a superb goal from Stuart Morrison in just the sixth minute of the match. He described the goal:-

”It was a good goal, a belter from Stuart. Matty Bowman sent the ball out to Lewis Crosbie who just played it across the face. He took it brilliantly on his weaker left foot as well.”

The early strike shocked the home fans and their manager Barry Ferguson. They were not alone!

”I was a wee bit shocked myself but I know he is capable of it because he does it in training all the time. When he hit the net I was buzzing for him.”

Callum got on the scoresheet himself just before the half hour to put the young Dunfermline side 2-0 up and he praised the lead up through his two team mates:-

”Tom Bragg picked up the ball, and he did brilliantly as well in this game, he played a great ball out to Lewis Crosbie. I knew right away he was going to play it in because that is what they have been saying to us ’put the ball in early’. I just got in there as quickly as I could and it was a clinical finish.”

The result was virtually settled with another goal within two minutes:-

”It came because Lewis McCann was direct, running down the left wing, cut inside and scores the goal which he does all the time in training and he is showing in the games now.

”We have shown that young boys can do it. Shieldsie is always saying ’believe in yourselves, you are brilliant players’ we went to Kelty and showed that.”

Callum burst onto the scene as a 17 year old at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season. In the absence of Nicky Clark through injury, he played in all four of Dunfermline`s Betfred Cup group games - scoring in the first against Elgin City - and started in the opening four league games.

That form led to selection for the Scotland under-19s where he won five caps and scored two international goals.

As an 18-year-old Callum scored three times for the Pars in season 2017-2018 before going out on loan to an Alloa Athletic side, managed by now St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin. He made 17 appearances under him in League One including the four play off matches that took them up into the Championship.

Last season Callum scored the winning goal as a young Dunfermline team knocked out Challenge Cup holders Caley Thistle in Inverness but he then went out on loan to Arbroath for the remainder of 2018.

Callum made nine appearances while on loan at the Gayfield club in the first half of last season, returning to Dunfermline in January to add three more Pars appearances.

He is now desperately keen to impress Stevie Crawford and force his way into contention for a first team place, he added:-

”At the end of the day we are trying to give him a headache. The young team has definitely made it harder for him.

”I have come back this season feeling really fit. I have done all of pre season and I am feeling sharp. I am just trying to get into the team as quickly as I can.

”Other pre seasons I have had problems with injuries but this year with a full pre season under my belt I am the fittest that I have been and the sharpest that I have been as well. I am looking forward to the season ahead.”

Callum is hopeful that youth will be given a chance under the Pars new management team:-

”They keep saying that they are going to give us a chance. At the end of last season Matty Todd got his chance because he was doing well. That is what we are looking up to, hopefully get in there and get a chance. Take our chance when we do get into the team.”

As someone who has heard Jim Goodwin’s team and tactic talks, Callum is ever hopeful that he can be given that chance in the first Betfred Cup tie that kicks off on Sunday away to St Mirren.

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