Kyle enjoys the green green grass of homeWednesday, 24th Feb 2021
“When I was warming up on Saturday I was thinking I really want to be playing on this.
When Airdrie defender Kyle Macdonald joined Dunfermline in January part of the deal was for him to return on loan to the Lanarkshire club for the rest of the season when League One resumed.
The 21 year old who signed a two and a half year deal with the Pars is also available in the meantime to play for Stevie Crawford`s side and on Saturday he was able to make his debut against Alloa Athletic. Kyle talked through his experience:-
“It was good I really enjoyed it and happy to win. When I first signed I knew League One had been suspended, I am at Dunfermline now so I might as well fight to try and get myself in the team. The sooner I get in the team the better. I have done that now and hopefully I can continue doing that."
As can so often be the case Kyle made his debut as a 25th minute substitute after an unfortunate injury to Aaron Comrie. Steven Whittaker was also on the bench but it was Kyle who got the shout to get stripped and fortune turned in his favour:-
“When I spoke to the manager he said that I had been training well and you can only so often say to somebody to keep doing what you are doing and training well, and the opportunity will come. If I had not been showing my ability in training when Aaron gets injured, he is maybe going to hesitate to put me on, or he might not even think about putting me on because he doesn’t think that I am ready.”
A vote of confidence was given by choosing Kyle to go on and his hard work in training was rewarded with his first appearance at Championship level:-
“He has shown a bit of confidence in me and I just want to go on and show that I can be a good player for Dunfermline. I want to show the coaches, players and fans here that I am a good player.”
In Kyle’s opinion of the first 25 minutes of the match against Alloa before he was introduced was positive:-
“I thought the team was playing well, I came on and I just tried to play myself into the game. I got forward a couple of times and I was trying to make an impression. Then I settled into the game and it was good just to get the win.
“It was a tough game near the end when they were pushing for a goal. I am happy to win, it is the best start that you can have. Hopefully I can get a few more games as well.”
Kyle had played against Alloa in the Betfred Cup earlier this season with Airdrie but he was not as concerned about his opponents as his own game:-
“I wasn’t really thinking about the team I was playing against, it was just how I would fit into the Dunfermline team. I thought that I had been training well but I hadn’t played a game with everyone.
“It is a good standard that the team play and I just wanted to do well for Dunfermline. I have played Alloa and I know what they are like and I know that I can play well against teams at a higher level because I have played against Championship and Premiership teams before.”
On arriving at Dunfermline with a less than successful outcome at Motherwell, Kyle follows the likes of team mates Dom Thomas and Euan Murray, who were both at Motherwell and developed after they had left. Kyle had always wanted to play first team football for the ‘Well, he thought that his chance would come but when that didn’t work out, he was really disappointed. Doors opened for him elsewhere as a result:-
“I knew when I left Motherwell that I wanted to be a footballer, I didn’t want to go and do anything else. I saw it as an opportunity to go somewhere and play. So when I went to Airdrie I knew it was my opportunity to play a load of games and get teams interested in me again and work my way back up. Thankfully Dunfermline showed that interest in me and I am happy to be here now.
“I don’t think I would be the player that I am today had that never happened. I wouldn’t have gone to Airdrie, I wouldn’t have got as many games as I did and I would not have ended up at Dunfermline. I wouldn’t have been playing first team minutes had I stayed at Motherwell. I am happy that happened and you can see that there is not one right path in football.
“You get boys who come up through the Lowland League and League Two who could end up on the Premiership or you get boys who stay in the youth system all the way through to the first team. There is no one right way into a first team so I am happy that I stuck at it and glad to be at Dunfermline now. I am on the up I think.
“It gave me that bit of hunger, I just wanted to prove to myself that I am good enough to play at this level and get myself back up there. I am starting to do that now at Dunfermline and I want to keep going.”
At Motherwell Kyle shared the same dressing room and played together in the U20s with David Turnbull who is now at Celtic and Allan Campbell who has now, at the age of 22, made 150 appearances for Motherwell. He continued:-
“They have shown how you go from the 20s or the reserves to the first team and they have done really well. They have shown how if you are good enough you can just break straight into the first team. I didn’t get that opportunity and I had to drop down to League One and play games there to get myself back up.
“You get boys who have to go out on loan to play games and maybe get a chance when they come back but they showed that they can go straight into the first team and they are doing well. Hopefully I will get to play against them next season.”
When Kyle signed for Dunfermline it was his first time in the stadium and the first impression that hit him most was the grass pitch. Kyle was an unused sub in the derby against Raith earlier this month but on Saturday the pitch had really taken his eye, he admitted:-
“It was really good to get on the pitch. When I was warming up on Saturday I was thinking I really want to be playing on this. I got my opportunity and it was great to be playing on grass again. League One has only a few grass pitches but to play on East End is brilliant.
“The weather has not been great just now for grass pitches but I just feel that it has coped well. I would rather play on any grass pitch than an Astro pitch, I think any footballer would say the same.”
If Kyle is given a game this Saturday at Palmerston he will of course be back on Astro. He hopes that is the case and he gets more game time:-
“I feel that I did well but still feel that I have more to give. It was my first game, I can still get better with every game. The more games that I play I will get better and I am looking forward to Saturday even though it is back on Astro. I am used to it, when I was at Airdrie I trained on Astro, played on Astro every week so it will not be an excuse for me.”
Palmerston Park has become not an easy venue for visitors to take points. League leaders Hearts were held to a 1-1 draw in Queens last home game and they are unbeaten at home in 2021. Kyle acknowledged that they have become formidable hosts:-
“They are on a very good run of form just now and it is going to be a tough place to go. I played them in a friendly at the start of the season with Airdrie and we won 1-0. They will be a different team now but I have an idea of what they will be like. The pitch plays a part but I’m hopeful that it will be a good game for us. Hopefully we will go there and get a win.”
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