Dunfermline Athletic

Paul George signs for Dunfermline

Tuesday, 10th Feb 2015

John Potter made another signing on Tuesday securing the out of contract former Celtic youth, Paul George.

The 21 year old from Downpatrick in Northern Ireland arrives on a deal until the end of the season.Speaking exclusively to the website, Paul explained how despite his birthplace and his distinct Irish lilt he now feels more Scottish than Irish.

"I moved to Celtic when I was about 15, that was under Tommy Burns, so I have been here a long time. I enjoy it here. I was very young when I came over and I went to school in Glasgow and left when I was 16 to go in full time to Celtic."

Many Pars fans who missed his outing as a trialist in the Fife Cup semi final win at Cowdenbeath, will remember him from the Scottish Youth Cup Final a couple of years ago. He described how he plays and his experience with Celtic:-

"I am a forward player , I can play out wide, play up top or play behind the striker, so I am an attacking player. I made one appearance for Celtic in the first team, though I did play in friendlies for the first team and was on the bench a lot, including European games as well. Then unfortunately I had a bad injury and had a double leg break against Rangers so that set me back a bit. That’s why I have never really broken through there.

"I can remember the Youth Cup Final playing against Dunfermline. That was my first game at Hampden and I was really excited to play, I thought I did well and it was against Dunfermline, so I know a few of the boys from that time. That’s helped me as well. I know the physio, Kenny Murray as he was Celtic with me when I was a young boy. It's good to know people about the club."

Being released by Celtic is a blow to any young player but Paul appears to be relieved as well:-"It was always going to come, it is hard to break through into Celtic's first team. You see they buy a lot of players and always have a lot of money to bring big names in, so it is hard for a young boy to break through. There has been one player in the last six years to break through so I am just glad to get away."

John Potter and Neil McCann have been in touch with their new signing for a couple of weeks and although he had a few other options but when spoke to them he liked what they were wanting to do.

"To try and win the league and everything has been positive, I have got on well with them. The move came mainly as a result of speaking to the Manager, Neil and Kenny the physio as well and I knew when I came in that it was a great club that could go a long way."

John Potter was delighted to bring Paul in. I have been speaking to him for two or three weeks now, both himself and his agent. He has had other options and been at other clubs and people interested in signing him because he is a talent.

"We managed to persuade him to get himself in. He trained on Friday, played on Saturday and really wanted to play on Saturday to show what he could do. He didn’t have to, as I know what he can do, and he showed in glimpses on Saturday what he can do. I am delighted to bring him in and I think he will be an asset to the Club."

Paul is just as sure that he can play a part at Dunfermline:-

"I’ve played here a couple of times last season and the season before, it is a nice big pitch and it is nice and wide, so as an attacking player it will probably suit me."

All that is a bit different to the tight Central Park surface he played on Saturday. He said that in that game he was just trying to impress as much as he could and hopefully let the manager and people see what he can do.

Paul George has played for both Ireland's international sides but having the right to choose to play for either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland decided to choose to play for the Republic as he believed that they would qualify for more Championships and thought it would be better for his career.

"I have signed till the end of the season and hopefully if things go well and I impress and we end up winning the league I would love to stay and obviously play next season as well." 

From the outside Paul recognises that there are a few good teams in League One:-

"Dunfermline in my eyes have the best squad in the league. We just need to win games and push on. I watched the highlights of the Ayr United game and I thought they played very well and if we can take that on to this weekend's game it would be good."

The manager feels that his new player's attacking flair is what attracted him most:-

"He is a winger, he is player who likes to take people on in one on one situations and he is probably something that we have not really got. We’ve got Andy Stirling and maybe Faissal in the wider areas but that’s probably not natural to him.

"He is something that we have not really got, he wants to take people on and get balls in the box and cause mayhem about the opposition penalty box, so that’s what he is here to do change games and be a matchwinner round about other areas and he loves to take people on. I see him playing wide and hopefully he can add that wee bit spark to get some goals."

Paul George is possibly not the final newcomer either as Potter added:-

"I’m hoping to get one more in on loan that I have spoken about for a while, which hopefully will happen next week. These things have now got to be timed properly so that someone can cover you for the whole season.

"We have lost five players as well but these players have come in and I thought that the squad needed to be freshened up. I’m delighted with all the business I have done and I think these players will prove to be good signings.

"I thought yesterday's under 20s performance in the 3-2 win over Rangers was excellent, especially in the first half. When you play those games and you have a few first team players playing I like to see their attitude, their professionalism in the game and that was first class.

"Some of those guys are out of the team at the moment, and they are trying to impress which is good for me and the staff to look at. I was delighted and to show that they could comeback after being two nil up and go back to two each, and have a sloppy ten minutes, to win the game and see it out was great again. I thought that we looked fit and strong again and its keeps a wee winning run going at the moment."

So do you think your new training methods are working?

"I do, yes. We’ve almost got a fully fit squad, Ryan Williamson is back and Ryan Wallace is the only one out, but he is not too far away. This should be him finally fully fit now. The players are working hard and I think they are enjoying it. They are all looking fit and strong. We know we have good ability in the squad and hopefully more confident after the last couple of weeks and we just need to kick on from here."

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