Dunfermline Athletic

Lewis’ Irish success fails to land in Stranraer

Friday, 29th Nov 2019

“We are still hurting from that result so obviously we take that into Saturday and will use that to motivate us to get a result.”

The Scottish Cup debut for Lewis McCann was one that he will be keen to forget. Reflecting on the disappointing result at Stranraer he said it certainly wasn’t the result they went down for:-

“It was a terrible game, they just got a penalty and that was that. We didn’t play the way we should have played, we didn’t play to our standards and we paid the price.”

Lewis was delighted to start but was subbed 13 minutes into the second half but the eighteen year old had no hard feelings about that:

“If I do have to come off for something to happen for the team or if it is not working when I am on the pitch, I am perfectly fine with that.”

Lewis has shown flair in first half to make a break into the right side of the Blues box but he himself felt that wasn’t enough:-

“There wasn’t much in the game anyway. I didn’t really do anything and it is hard in those kind of games especially when you are a team like us where we do like to play football. We are trying not to make excuses but it is hard on a pitch like that.”

So it transpired that Stranraer is one place where home is definitely an advantage, he claimed:-

“They are used to playing on that surface and obviously going from our pitch to their pitch is a big change. We are still hurting from that result so obviously we take that into Saturday and will use that to motivate us to get a result.”

Despite having been attached to Raith Rovers while at Fife Elite Lewis joined Dunfermline in May 2018 on a two year deal. His progress has been impressive making his debut at the age of 17 in the Betfred Cup against Peterhead and starting his first Championship match against Dundee in August this year.

“I feel that I have done well, got a few appearances. I had a few shaky performances but it is good that the gaffer continues to play me, it shows that he trusts me and he feels that I am good enough to keep playing me.”

Thirteen appearances for the Pars so far this season are benefiting his game immensely felt the young man from Edinburgh:-

“It is nice because I am still young and it is good to get as much first team football as I am getting at a club like this. We are not a small club, it is good for me mentally as well as physically. Playing keeps my legs fit and I am not just sitting on the bench waiting for that moment and then when I do get on feeling a bit sluggish.”

His confidence and experience has been boosted with inclusion in the Northern Ireland Under 19 squad.

Lewis played three games in seven days for Stephen Frail’s Northern Ireland Under 19s in a warm up tournament in Lurgan for next year’s UEFA Under 19 tournament (19th July to 1st August 2020 in Belfast, Ballymena, Lurgan and Portadown).

Lewis scored in 86th minute of the match they lost to Portugal but his highlight was scoring against Germany. Northern Ireland drew 1-1 with Germany after a German goal in the sixth minute of added time countered the Irish lead. Lewis’ shot from the left side of the box had been deflected into his own net off by a German defender to give the home side a 55th minute lead.

“It was pretty good, I enjoyed it a lot. We got the result against Germany (on penalties) but it felt that we could have got more but we didn’t play our best in the first two games.

“We made up for it in the end and I felt that I did consistently well throughout the game. I worked hard, linked the play quite well and scored two goals as well.

“To get the result against Germany leaves you thinking ‘did that really happen’? You are pinching yourself in the changing room but it was brilliant that game.”

Proud to have his grandad, Jack, and nanny, Hilda who live nearby in Portadown there to witness it all as well, Lewis is delighted to be part of the Northern Ireland set up.

His father is from Northern Ireland, his mum is from London and he was born in Scotland. Lewis was delighted when it was his father Ian’s land that were the first country to come for him.

“I am a mix of everything, I didn’t have a preference of what country I would play for but it is obviously nice when somebody comes in and continues to pick you.

“Once you are in a squad you are wanting to push for the next one. You just want to keep going and keep going. My target is to be consistently in the 21 squad. I have had glimpses of it but I want to be consistently involved in that squad.”

Lewis’ brother older Alistair is in the under 21 squad but Lewis takes pride was called up first:-

“I have still got that one in the bag even though he has made more appearances. We bounce off each other with friendly banter. It is good to have someone so close to you in the same line of sport as you.

“He gave me a bit of stick about the Stranraer result because he was out on loan there at the end of last season. He was giving me a bit of stick but at the end of the day it is just a laugh.”

Alistair players with St Johnstone and the brothers have already played together for Northern Ireland under 21s against Denmark.

“I came on as a sub and he started the game. He just shouts at me, that is what he feels that he needs to do, he just screams.”

Lewis has three U21s caps having started against Finland and coming on against Malta and Denmark. He has been capped five times at U19 level and has scored two goals. He is still looking for his first Dunfermline goal and hopes to remedy that just as quickly as possible.

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