Dunfermline Athletic

Manager on Thursday

Thursday, 30th May 2019

30/05/19: Stevie Crawford talks about the new faces coming to the club.

With Matthew Bowman, Gabby McGill and Kyle Turner signing for the club this week Stevie Crawford was happy to discuss with the media on Thursday lunchtime.

“There have been a lot of phone calls and a lot of work behind the scenes but we were delighted to announce the signings earlier of Aaron Comrie and Ryan Dow and this week of three more players which shows the direction that we are hoping the club to go next season.

“They are ones that we have had watched, ones that we have had up on trial and they are maybe not names that will come to people’s minds but having spoken to the players, they see Dunfermline as somewhere they want to come to progress their own futures.

“There is a hunger and an eagerness for them to do well individually but also the big thing is, they want to be part of a team that can come together collectively to take this club forward.”

Above:- Stevie Crawford welcomes Matty Bowman
Having been involved in academies in England, Matty Bowman was brought to Dunfermline’s attention. He had concentrated on his studies and ended up at Repton School in Derbyshire. Stevie expanded:-

“He played with Independent schools down there, captaining the side at under 17 level. He came up on a couple of occasions last season, impressed with his attitude at training. He is young, mainly right sided. He has good legs, good energy and works his socks off. Although he is still in the midst of exams he wants to give it his best shot to try and become a professional football player.

“He wants to develop himself and one we think we can give a platform up here to be amongst a first team group where he can kick on.”

Gabby McGill was involved in football academies at York City and Middlesbrough, Stevie said:-

“He has been scoring goals regularly down there. He has good movement, he is a good size and after coming up to show him around about the place, I think there was an allure of being able to come into a first team environment was something that excited him for the next stage of his development. It is great that we have been able to come to an arrangement with Middlesbrough to get someone of Gabby’s quality.”

Above:- Stevie Crawford signs Gabby McGill
The tall striker can link play but has a good eye for goal. Not an out and out target man but we can expect him to make runs in behind and give Stevie a different option.

“He knows where he wants his career to go. Although he is only eighteen years of age he has a drive and determination that he sees a part of his pathway to kick on and learn men’s football maybe at an earlier stage than he would have stayed in academy football.”

These two academy players were very excited by Dunfermline, they are eager to try and force their way into the team because it is not a given. Stevie continued:-

“Once in the team they want to stay in the team but they have also got longer term goals which they have to reach through being successful at Dunfermline. They are young but their heads are screwed on.

“They are good young men and it says a lot for them that they want to come up from down south at an age where they have a good grounding. I am sure that with the right direction from ourselves and the right backing from the supporters that they will be two who will go on and be successful at Dunfermline.”

Above:- Stevie welcomes Kyle Turner to East End Park
The club have paid compensation for both Gabby McGill and Kyle Turner. Stevie agreed that showed a belief from the club.

“We have had Kyle watched several times and he has progressed every year since breaking into the team at Stranraer. His appearances and goal ratio has gone up year by year.

“The next challenge now for Kyle is stepping up to full time football. That will a challenge for him, I just hope that people don’t expect too much too early.

“The great thing about Kyle is that he has over a hundred games behind him in competitive football. It is not easy playing in the lower leagues. The exciting thing for me is that he is a kid who is coming up the way rather than somebody stepping back down the way.

“He knows that there is development in his game where we can give him the opportunity to get better. He caught the eye on several occasions last year when we had him watched and is one we are really excited to have on board.

“There has been interest in him from other clubs over the years and it is a credit to him how he has handled that without losing focus. He has been a good servant to Stranraer and I’d like to thank them not just for the way they went about their business but for the way they helped develop Kyle as a player.”

Stevie revealed that he had conversations with Jackie McNamara about the players he has brought in.

“Any player that we are looking to bring to the club, I can touch on Jackie’s experience to help me mould the squad to give us a structure and platform to compete in Championship football next year.”

The manager admitted that he was still hoping to add more to the squad.

“As I said when I spoke openly at a supporters event recently, yes ideally we would like experience. Does that mean it is going to be a 32 year old or 28 year old with x amount of games? We have to make sure that we can afford it on our budget and it is still the right character for the club.

“I don’t want pinned down to a specific player, what I will say is, that like everything that we have done so far, we will do our homework. It is a young group and we have to make sure that there is a certain amount of experience within the side who can help you cope with the demands of Championship football.”

Tomorrow - Stevie comments on his re-signings

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