Gall v his old BuddiesFriday, 17th Jun 2011
Fixtures pitch Paul Gallacher back against his former team and he can't wait to get started
Paul Gallacher only left St Mirren at the end of last season and as luck would have it St Mirren are the first visitors in the new SPL season. He said that he could not believe it when he saw the fixtures:-
"It is a massive fixture for us and hopefully I will be playing on the day; it would be a nice occasion. It is a game that we can look forward to and get off to a good start in the SPL. I didn't fear that would be the first game but when you see it in front of you in black and white you think 'oh no'. It is just one of those things; you move clubs and the first fixture is against your old club. It is going to be an interesting game."
Paul had the offer of a new two year contract at St Mirren, his former team mates in Paisley are disappointed that he has left and receives numerous messages from them but Paul says 'that's football'.
"You have to make decisions in life and obviously the appeal of Dunfermline on my doorstep means that I do not have that commute every day now. I probably spent more time travelling than I did training when I was at St Mirren. In the bad weather last year it was taking up to four hours and it was a bit of a nightmare sometimes. It is not the best way to prepare for training.
"I have been here before; I know the Manager and his coaching staff so hopefully it will not take too long to fit in again. I have a battle on my hands with big Chris Smith - he was first choice goalkeeper last season. He played well and was part of a championship winning team. It is going to be a battle but one that I am looking forward to."
Living locally, Gall was well aware of the promotion push at Dunfermline last season. He feels that promotion has made the town buzz and added:-
"It is great to be back as a Dunfermline player." Considering thoughts of staying in the SPL he said:- "You have to look at the likes of Inverness who were promoted, consolidated and pressed for the top six. It is something that we would like to emulate; we don't mind being the guys who are tipped to go down we will just go out there and play good football. I watched Dunfermline a couple of times last season and some of the football they played was fantastic. It is free flowing, fast and very attractive football that's great to watch. Hopefully I can be part of it."
With the Celtic match being postponed on 30th July, the Pars start with games against St Mirren, Inverness and St Johnstone - three teams who finished in the bottom six last season. Paul warned that there are no easy games in the SPL and it could well be that all these sides could be eyeing up matches against the newly promoted club as one that they can take three points from.
"I played against these teams last season and I know what to look out for. We will take each game as it comes and hopefully pick up plenty three points before we play the Old Firm."
Paul explained that when he left Dunfermline in the summer of 2009 he left on good terms. Jim McIntyre had pursued him since the season ended:-
"That showed a willingness that he wanted me. It was an easy decision for me. I played with Macca a few years ago, then I worked with him as my gaffer. He is a fantastic manager; his training is top notch, absolutely brilliant. He gets the best out of his boys and is a great man to work with. I am looking forward to it and I really can't wait to get started."
Gerry McCabe assessess fixtures and new faces