Dunfermline Athletic

Captain’s Log

Wednesday, 24th Nov 2021

Graham Dorrans discusses becoming club captain and life under Yogi

After leading Dunfermline to back to back victories on returning from six weeks out with an ankle injury, the club captaincy has been accepted by Graham Dorrans. The 34 year old former Scotland internationalist has been given the armband accepting John Hughes’ offer to his midfielder. Graham explained how he appreciates the compliments that his boss has been paying him:-

“The gaffer had a quick chat with me through the week about being the captain. I am happy to do that, I’m not someone who goes about shouting and screaming at the top of my voice all the time. On the pitch I think I can lead the young boys, help them out and talk to them. Yes it is nice to hear the gaffer say that and I’m more than capable of that responsibility.”

Graham is the most senior outfield player at the club and is very experienced given his service to Livingston, West Bromwich Albion, Norwich City, Rangers and Dundee. He has 12 Scotland caps and even played in Australia playing 23 games at Western Sydney Wanderers. Despite his 445 senior appearances he is honoured to be the club captain at East End Park:-

“I have been captain of most teams that I have been at just for a few games but I have never been club captain at any club that I have been at. It is always an honour when the manager comes and asks you that. If I can give a little bit of experience to the younger boys coming through, and we have quite a young team, then great.

“I’m not someone who screams and shouts but if something has to be said on the pitch or someone talked to, then I am happy to do that. I am leading by example, coming in training at prompt times and doing everything right. Hopefully the boys follow me.”

Graham Dorrans’ return to the team has coincided with the arrival of John Hughes in the manager’s chair and the skipper revealed a little about the fresh approach taken:-

“He has stressed how he wants us to press the ball and get the ball back. I think that helps straight away. The last week that he has been in, he has just wanted us to work as hard as possible.”

With a new manager and two wins on the bounce now is an ideal time to try and build a bit of momentum. Graham thought that the most pleasing thing wasn’t the result but the overall performance:-

“From start to finish we controlled the game, it was just what the gaffer was looking for so, yes it is great to get the three points but for me the most important thing was the overall performance.”

The skipper agreed that Saturday was his finest performance so far in a Dunfermline shirt but felt that could be said of every player and is probably why they produced their best performance of the season. He tried to identify how it all clicked to such good effect:-

“Everyone wanted the ball, everyone was confident. The new manager coming in has given everyone a new lease of life. He has told everyone that he wants everyone to be brave and get on the ball. I think that is what you saw on Saturday, everyone was available for the ball, everyone was available for passes and that comes with a bit of confidence. Obviously the goals helped us and after that we built on it.

“He has told us that he wants us to be brave, take the ball and pass it. If we make a mistake doing that then he will take the blame for it. It is good to hear that as players because it makes people more confident. Confidence might be low because of the run that we have been on, it is refreshing to hear that and they maybe come out of their shell a bit and it brings that performance out.

“Saturday was just a start, it was a good performance but the gaffer has only been in the door a week and it is something to build on. We have managed two good wins now and although Partick Thistle is a cup game we will be looking to take that into Friday and win games. Winning becomes a habit so if we can keep doing that on Friday we can roll that into the league as well.”

Graham made 15 appearances for Partick Thistle while on loan there between August and December 2005. He had not been signed when Dunfermline played against Partick Thistle in the Premier Sports Cup but did play in the Pars home league defeat to the Jags and watched the goalless draw in Glasgow in October from the sidelines:-

“It was a good performance. It finished 0-0, either side could have nicked it in the end but it was probably a fair result. We know that it is going to be a tough game there, they have started really well in the league so we will be prepared when we go into the game on Friday. We all want a cup run. It is important for the club to do that, it is a chance to get into the next round and see who we get after that.”

Graham is really pleased to be back playing after the frustration of watching from the sidelines:-

“You want to be out there and being part of the team. It is part and parcel of football, injuries come and you need to deal with them.

“I’m feeling good now. It has been a case of coming back, getting a few sessions in on the training pitch to try and get up to speed. I feel that I have got there. I have done a lot of work with the physios and the fitness staff here so I feel that I’m up to speed now and managed ninety minutes in the last two games.”

While working on getting up to match fitness Graham was able to assist with coaching duties and was on the bench against Morton, he explained that role is his ambition:-

“In my first week back training I wasn’t ready to play in the game so the guys (Greg Shields and Steven Whittaker) came and asked me if I would help out around training and help out for the game.

“It was a disappointing result but from a personal level, good for me to be involved and see that side of the game as well.

“I started my ‘B’ Licence before I went to Australia and before covid hit. I have a little bit to do to finish that off and then I will move on to my ‘A’ after that. It is definitely something that I will look into but not right at this minute!”

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