Dunfermline Athletic

Hubby's Heart is in Kelty

Wednesday, 3rd Feb 2016

Part time is the road I took because I just couldn't see how a career was going to develop for me.

Stephen Husband was the club's guest in hospitality on Friday night. Stephen joined Dunfermline in July 2012 and spent two seasons at East End Park. It was Jim Jefferies who signed him from Blackpool in what was a return for Stephen since he had spent two years at Dunfermline in the youths. He commented:-

"I knew quite a lot of the players at Dunfermline when I came back, so it was comfortable. It was a good and really experienced squad so it was a challenge to myself. When I managed to get in the team and I felt I did quite well."

Stephen scored eleven goals in his first season and he was asked if any of them were special or more enjoyable than any others:-

"Yes, the fans will enjoy this one - the Raith Rovers one - I scored a double down there. And the volley against Arbroath was one of the better ones as well. Every goal is a good goal especially when it's in front of crowds that hate you."

Remembered for his spectacular strikes, Stephen revealed he had no particular special technique and was possibly more fuelled by the threat of not scoring. He explained:-

"Towards the end of the first season all I thought about was scoring or else Jim Jefferies was going to kill me. That was my only thought, it was a vital three points every week for us because in the second half of that season we had lost a lot of players and young boys had come into the team. They probably needed someone a bit older to step up and I was happy to do that."

Stephen was famous for picking spots from free kicks that successfully surprised defences:-

"At free kicks keepers always used to think that I was going over the wall. I used to get away with that quite a lot but I had plenty time to practice. Nowadays I don't get so much practice so I try the hard way over the wall."

Stephen's first season was a rollercoaster one. The Pars started really well that First Division season and for the first four months of the campaign only Partick Thistle had beaten them. From the end of November until the end of the season however, Dunfermline were to win only five more league games. The final day home defeat to Airdrie sent them into the play offs and the first play off game was against Forfar Athletic, Stephen recalled:-

"We had a terrible game up there and the boys would agree that we really let everyone down including ourselves, the fans and the manager. We got punished 3-0 down on the night. You start to feel sorry for yourselves but we grabbed that goal towards the end.

"It was only two goals and we had been behind by two goals before in games and we knew that if we could get a goal and off to a good start at East End we could get ourselves right back in it. We managed to do that and turned it around."

Forfar Athletic had three players sent off as they crashed to a 6-1 defeat, Stephen continued:-

"I don't think they could complain about the sendings off but you almost felt sorry for them at the time because you could see them getting deflated and we were rampant. We really wanted to get the ball in the net and they got men sent off for a last man, Michael Dunlop's challenge - he could have been arrested for that- and the last one, Iain Campbell's big mouth got him sent off as well.

"We had a job to do that day and the important thing for us was just sticking to it. We never got involved and managed to get the win."

The win earned the Pars a place in the First Division play off final against Alloa Athletic but that got off to a disastrous start with a 3-0 first leg defeat at Recreation Park.

"The boys still had belief after getting best away because we had turned it around before but Alloa set up well, played well, stuck to their game plan and even though we won it wasn't enough. If we had got a goal a bit earlier it could have changed Alloa's mindset but it wasn't to be."

Stephen's second season at East End Park was hampered from the start as he served a two match suspension for his sending off against Alloa in the play off final.

"It didn't seem to go for me from the outset. I think I was suspended for the first two games and then got suspended again before I was even back in the team. He had boys like Josh Falkingham and Andy Geggan, there were good players like Shaun Byrne coming through and I found it difficult to get back in the team. I did keep my place for a while but then fell back out of it. It was just one of those things where I was in and out too much for my liking. You just have to take it and do your best to get back into the team."

Stephen left at the end of 2013-14 and he explained the circumstances leading to his departure:-

"He had made it known that he wanted the budget freed up for a striker and Josh, Geggs and Shaun were all under contract. Josh and Geggs had fallen out of the team for not signing contracts and because I had just got back in the team I did not want that to happen to me. I decided just to wait until the end of the season to speak about my deal. I just wanted to concentrate on the football.

"The deal that was there was not really a deal, it was a token gesture to be honest. It was never one that I was going to be able to sign so that is why I moved on."

His move was to Forfar and lo and behold, Hubby was to score a winner against Dunfermline, drawing one and winning three of the matches between the clubs that season:-

"That is one of those things" he added. "Old players come back and haunt their old teams. It felt bad but Forfar were just concentrating on going for the league ourselves. We had a really good season. It was a great achievement to finish third given the teams in that league.

"At Forfar I played the first half of the season constantly but then I was in and out the team."

This season Stephen has been playing his football at Kelty Hearts. The age of 25 seems a bit young to give up senior football but he gave his reasons for going junior:-

"Ever since I was sixteen I have been full time in football. Part time is the road I took because I just couldn't see how a career was going to develop for me. I tried to get my head into doing something long term. I decided to get myself to college and I was going to do engineering and stay part time but I spoke to the chairman, he had a company of conservatory converters so he said that he would put me through my joinery instead. I was quite keen on that and on the basis that I signed for Kelty I was quite happy to do that.

"With the facilities that Kelty have, they are up there with the very best, I do not think that you could find better in juniors. I knew quite a lot of them and ex seniors as well. I was more than happy to sign and get back enjoying my football again and having a career behind me and not having to worry about going to college and funding. I made that decision and I am quite happy about it."

Stephen still follows the Pars fortunes every week always looking for their results first along with his other interests in Hearts and Man United. He regrets nothing about his two seasons at Dunfermline:-

"I was part of probably the most difficult times in Dunfermline's history. It was a tough time and I am proud to have been a part of it and with my efforts into keeping the club up. Unfortunately it wasn't to be, things could have been a lot different. I was proud to share a dressing room with the boys I shared it with and the journey we all went on together."

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