Dunfermline Athletic

Learning in Lisbon

Wednesday, 3rd May 2017

Seventeen year old Par, Paul Allan has just returned from a month long training camp at the world famous Benfica Academy.

This week Paul told the website about his experiences and firstly how it all came about:-

"It was funded by the Pars Supporters Trust which I am very grateful for because it was a great trip. What I learned over there I can bring back here and what I learned here I was able to take over there as well."

Paul was selected out of Fife Elite Football Academy for the trip to Lisbon. The Pars Supporters’ Trust were delighted to name Paul as the first recipient of an award from the Margaret Ross Memorial Fund. As well as the £1000 from the Supporters Trust, Paul benefited from even greater support from supporters and friends contributing to a Go Fund Me page.

"I just thank everybody who gave money towards that as well and allowed me to go on the trip. The facilities were great and I saw what full time football would be like, what different cultures are like and obviously enjoyed doing that in the sun."

Paul Allan is a regular member of the Pars U20s squad, he experienced double sessions most days and played eight games including one against a Benfica 17s team.

"The practical sessions were very intense. We played some college teams which were 19s or National Championship sides who were 19s or 17s.

"There were players from nineteen different countries as far away as South Africa and Brazil, Tunisia as well as the UK. The players from Africa and America all play differently and you could pick up things from them as well. I integrated well and really enjoyed the month.

"The coaches pushed us to try and help us to improve as much as we could when we were there. I learned different movements to get on the ball and lots of different ways to play, especially going forward. I adapted to different formations. It was just a great experience for me."

Reflecting on his season with the Dunfermline under 20s Paul acknowledged that John Potter and the players too have helped him, he said:-

"I think I have improved a lot since I have stepped up from Fife Elite to Dunfermline. On the trip I played midfield but to be honest I just play where I get put. I played right back in the 20s on Tuesday. I am normally centre defence or centre midfield. I prefer centre midfield."

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