Dunfermline Athletic

Stuart Morrison - the interview

Sunday, 31st Jan 2016

Stuart Morrison is in his ninth season in the Dunfermline youth system having joined aged eight at the end of primary four.

His early football was played with Bayside Boys Club but was picked out by Roger Arnott during community training at Pitreavie.

"I am sixteen years old, I attend Inverkeithing High School and went there from Donibristle Primary School in Dalgety Bay. My mum comes from Inverness and my dad from Ellon but I was born in Kirkcaldy."

With a background like that which football team do you support?

"My mum persuaded me to support Inverness Caley Thistle and I enjoyed going to watch them when I was younger. Believe it or not I was a season ticket holder for seven or eight years. My grandparents stay up in Inverness so it was quite simple to go up and stay overnight with them. It is a bit different from people supporting Celtic and Rangers."

Stuart plays at centre half and he explained that he still trains with Fife Elite on a Friday and sometimes on a Monday and Tuesday. "I play on a Sunday with Fife Elite but I usually play with the under 20s on a Tuesday."

You have been at Dunfermline for a long time so we assume you enjoy it here?

"It is really good and I am loving playing week in week out for the 20s right now."

Stuart played a few games at under 20 level last season even though he was only 15 and has been a regular this season. How did he enjoy the step up?

"It has been good because I have been playing against older professional players who have played in the top league for six or seven years. It is good to gain experience by playing against them."

Who has been your most difficult opponent in the 20s?

"Josh Megennis, just because of the sheer size of him, how quick he is and it is all a blur sometimes playing against players like that. I enjoyed playing against Anthony Stokes against Celtic. I thought I matched him for pretty much all of the game and that gives me confidence to take into the under 17s games and try to push them on with the experience I am getting.

"My first ever under 20s game was against a Hearts team that included Jamie Walker, James Keatings, David Smith, Gary Oliver and Jason Holt. It was quite tough for one of my first games. All of them were much sharper and you learn a lot from these games."

How would you like to see your future going?

"I am on my last year at under 17 and hopefully if I get offered a contract, I will leave school and take the contract. I am still at school and unlike some others my age I am not in training but I hope to be able to come in and train full time next season.

"During the school holidays all the Fife Elite boys who are attached to teams get to go and train with their clubs. I enjoy coming into training because it is a much higher standard from what I am used to. It brings me on as a player.

"Last season we trained a couple of times with the first team but this year I have just trained with the 20s although sometimes I get involved with the first team during the warm up."

Players coming back into contention for the first team football squad helps young Stuart.

"They always talk you through the game, you can learn off them and and you can see how they go about their business. You can take that into your own game to make you a better player. That is good because they have high demands of you and it is always good to improve as a player."

Under 20s coach John Potter played in Stuart's position so he gets special encouragement there:-

"Potts always pulls me over during training and after it to say that I could do this better or do that. It is all good and he played centre half in the senior game for many years so I can feed off the information that he is giving me and bring that into my own game to make myself better.

"The senior players always talk you through games in the under 20s games. They always make you feel comfortable and welcome."

What would you like to achieve after you leave Fife Elite?

"Hopefully a two year apprenticeship, train well and if I can play in the under 20s then one day I would hope to make it into the first team. As a local boy that would mean a lot to me. All my friends are fans so it would be good for one day play for the first team.

"I notice that in the 20s it is a lot more physical and being a centre half you need to be strong. I need to improve that if I want to go further in the game. If I am strong I will give it my all."

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