Dunfermline Athletic

Matt in search of gloss finish

Friday, 21st Jun 2019

“I have come up and know that if I work hard at some point I will get an opportunity. That is all that I can ask for really at my age.

Stevie Crawford has high hopes for his 18 year old signing Matty Bowman. Although he hails from Scarborough and attended Repton School in Derbyshire, the Pars gaffer has had a good look at his young signing.

Matty came up and trained with the first team in February and then for a second time at Easter. There is little doubt that those positive visits had a big bearing on his decision to come north to Dunfermline. He told this website:-

“It was the only place that I have been to over the last two years where from the minute I came in, I felt welcome. I loved the feeling around the place from the gaffer right down to the boys in the reserves and the first team. I met the chairman and I enjoyed the two times that I was up here. That played a big part.”

From the age of nine the young Yorkshireman spent nearly a year at Leeds without actually signing for the club. He then spent three years at Middlesbrough and followed by four years at Hull City until he was 16. Over the last two years he has trained during school holidays at Blackburn Rovers, Leicester City, Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic as well as his two trips to Dunfermline last season.

Matty left home to board at the famous Repton School which addresses both academic and physical skills. Life there included Matty training five times every week during a full time football programme. He explained how it worked:-

“During my two years there I trained five times a week and played games once or twice a week. It was a really good football programme but I got my three A Levels alongside it. Both my parents are teachers so that had a bit of influence on keeping my education going while trying to stay at as high a level as possible with my football.

“As well as a normal school day there was two hours of training timetabled in every day. It is not quite as much as professional football but there is a lot of strengthening and conditioning programmed around the week.

“It is about as much as you can possibly get into a day in terms of academic and the football side.”

Matty is right footed and describes himself as an attacking full back who can also play wide on the right or left side. He revealed that he chose Dunfermline due to the opportunity that it provided:-

“Like Gabby McGill and Josh Coley who have also turned their backs on it, I don’t want to get stuck in under 23 football in England. It is very hard to progress, very few do it and the opportunity to come here and be around the first team was the attraction.

“I played for Scarborough Athletic, my hometown club, a few times in non league just for somewhere to play when I was home last season. I realise that ultimately you have to be playing men’s football and being in that environment around the first team.

“I have come up and know that if I work hard at some point I will get an opportunity. That is all that I can ask for really at my age.

“I was at Hull City until I was sixteen. A couple of the lads that I had been watching play under 23 football when I was sixteen, I ended up playing alongside at Scarborough. That made me question, do I want to spend four years in that system to end up at the same place as I could be.

“Had I stayed in Academy football and then ended up here in three or four years time, you are another three years down the line. Whereas coming now you can try and get yourself in earlier.”

Matty knows that leaving home is a wrench but he was a boarder at Repton so that was quite a good transition for him:-

“You get all your meals made and washing done there but I have got used to being away from my family which is good in terms of adjusting. I just need to learn how to cook and wash now! I am sharing a flat with Gabby and Josh.”

Matty and Josh have been at Dunfermline since last Sunday, the arrival delayed due to Matty’s exam commitments:-

“I finished my last A level exam on Thursday last week. I had a Politics exam in the morning and then I drove home to Scarborough, got all my things sorted and came up at the weekend.”

With potentially three A Levels in PE, History and Politics it sounds like there is plenty that Matt might be doing if he wasn’t a footballer but he has his ambitions set on a career in football:-

“That is what I have been brought up around, my grandads, my dad, my uncles all played semi professional football. I am right into my psychology, I do a lot of that in my PE studies. Something around Sports Psychology but my plan at the minute would be to go into management once I have finished playing.

“I like my politics and if I didn’t do my football I might do something like that but now I have my A Levels out of the way I can focus on this right now.

“I have been looking forward to getting here for the past couple of months now. Every day sitting with my books out, I was looking forward to getting here. I am naturally really fit so it is not something that I mind too much. I am a good runner, one of my strengths is getting up and down. I am quite fit but it is tough and I am looking forward to the proper season starting.”

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