Steven McDougall Post HibsSunday, 19th Jul 2009
"At Airdrie you always felt that you were under the cosh and chasing games right from the start but at Dunfermline it is completely different.
Steven McDougall was disappointed not to start against Hibs but he had to console himself with 30 minutes coming off the bench to follow up his start against Dundee United last Tuesday:-
"Coming on as sub it was hard to get up to the pace of the game but against Dundee United I was quite happy with the way it went. I hope by the time the competitive games come along the Manager will have me in mind."
The 23 year old who went through the youth system at Rangers from a nine year old up to the under 17s, dismisses the results:-
"Pre season has gone well, we are getting our fitness and the boys are getting used to each other. All pre seasons are tough. You just have to get through it and take as much out if it as you can. I feel good, hopefully that's the running finished and now it is all about match fitness.
"The Dundee United game was good; it was the first game against right good opposition. I played against them last season in the League Cup and it is a good challenge to play against SPL teams."
Steven is well aware of the need to earn a place in Jim McIntyre's team but is optimistic following his close season arrival from Airdrie United:-
"The competition for places gets boys playing better. If you don't play well you are out of the team and if you get in the team then there are boys who want to in it. It is a good thing having a lot of wingers, it gives him many options."
Steven's team mates at Murray Park, Ross McCormack and Mark Twaddle are now at Cardiff City and Falkirk and Steven is committed to seek out success with the Pars that might take him to a higher level as well:-
"I had to pay my own fee to get here, it was either that or stay another year at Airdrie. You could say that it is just an investment in your career and I knew the first day I was here that it was the right decision.
"Dunfermline is a better club and I enjoy it better. I had six years at Airdrie so it was time to move on. At Airdrie you always felt that you were under the cosh and chasing games right from the start but at Dunfermline it is completely different. Dunfermline play better football and you have a better chance going forward so hopefully I will score more goals."
With five or six players capable of starting in the wide positions Steven knows that he may well need to be flexible in where he can play this season:-
"The Manager knows I can do a job upfront so I am more than happy to play up there, hopefully I can score a few more goals than I did at Airdrie. Goals were not my main contribution at Airdrie, I was played more out wide."
The Alba Cup opens the season with Dunfermline having a home tie against John McGlashan's Arbroath. Steven shows his competitive nature stating:-
"Any cup that you are in you want to win. I am looking forward to next Saturday."