Scott Sutherland - the interviewSaturday, 13th Feb 2016
Scott Sutherland plays with the under 17s on a Sunday but of late has been enjoying appearances at under 20 level. He introduces himself:-
"I am sixteen years old and come from Abernethy. I have lived there all my life, my father was brought up there and all his family grew up there. A lot of my pals live in Perth and I go to Perth High School."
How well does school life and football training go together?
"I leave school at 12 o'clock on a Friday to go and train with Fife Elite. Training is from two until nine. I am only at school three days per week doing three subjects at fives and highers - Maths, PE and history."
How long have you been at Dunfermline?
"This is my seventh season. My dad ran the Abernethy Boys Club when Roget Arnott brought me in on trial originally at the year above. I was kept training until the under tens came through for me to train with my own age group. I have been here ever since. I was brought in as a full back but Stevie Paterson converted me to a forward."
How often are you at East End Park?
"I come in on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. Then there are games with Dunfermline on a Tuesday. I am at Dunfermline more than I'm at Fife Elite. I enjoy Fife Elite but there is a higher intensity here and it will make you a better player."
What is your preferred position?
"Striker but recently Potts put me on wide right. It was unfamiliar to me but if you have experienced players around about you who can talk you through the game it gets easier. I prefer playing upfront because I have played there for a long time."
What kind of striker would you describe yourself as then?
"I used to run all the time but then I got it drilled to me that I need to come short for the ball. Now I have that in my game but the new manager he wants players running in behind. I try and make runs for midfielders and defenders to put balls through and score more goals."
Scott's achievements were rewarded with international call up at under 15 level. How did that come about?
"In the 15s I was doing well and banging the goals in. There were local trials covering the East of Scotland and you just work your way up. The trial process was about a year and a half, then there was a three day camp in Largs. They picked the final squad for the Switzerland game from that.
"I scored twice on my debut against Switzerland, then went to a tournament in Turkey and played against Republic of Ireland here at East End Park.
"I had a dip in form last season but I hope to get back into the Scotland, set up for the Euros this year."
How much advice do you get from the first team strikers?
"They are good, they tell you the runs to make, when you should and shouldn't do stuff. It helps me because it helps me improve as a striker. Folk like Moff, Ryan Wallace, Mickael and Faiss you can just watch them and learn from them. You can take bits from their games on a Saturday and try and put them into your own game.
"Potts is always telling me to watch as much as you can and pay close attention. Even when I am on the bench for the 20s you are watching players like Jamesy (Thomas) and PJ (Crossan) how they are moving and the runs they make."
What is your aim?
"Potts has told me that the likes of me, Spook (Brandon Luke) and John James (Henderson) that we are not guaranteed contracts. We still need to prove that we are worth a contract which is good because sometimes you need a wee rocket just to bring you back down to realise that you need to fight to be here. There is no guaranteed contract which is hard.
"I want a contract because I hate school and my mum and dad say that if I do not get a contract I am going back to school or get a full time job. Football is the option for me really, I have never thought about doing anything else."
How have you enjoyed the experience at under 20 level?
"I am regarded as one of the bigger players in the under 17s but when I go to 20s there is a massive difference - people taller and bigger than me physically, faster than me so I need to adapt my game to come short when the time is right and then go long. At 17s its easier because I know the players that I am playing with, know their game but it is so much harder here than with Fife Elite."
How much help do you get from the experienced players?
"When Josh was coming back he was talking to you all the time, Spencey, Shaun Rooney, Hutts in goal, Hoppy, Rhys McCabe, Mickael - when you are playing with them they are telling you what to do and it really does help you. You listen to them and try and take it all on board."
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