Dunfermline Decision right for Otoo

Ewan Otoo has thoroughly enjoyed stepping up from Academy football into the cinch Championship with Dunfermline. His graduation has followed a loan period last season which saw him featuring in every minute of the Pars final eight matches en route to securing the League One title and promotion.

In the first half of last season, Ewan made 23 starts for Lowland League, Celtic B before arriving at KDM Group East End Park in February this year.  On 21 June Ewan’s move to Dunfermline was made permanent signing on a three year deal. So far this season the 21 year-old has been ever present in all 16 matches for James McPake and this has firmly endorsed his decision to join the Pars. He says that he didn’t have any doubts:-

“I was always confident stepping up. I wanted to show people I was ready to play at this level.  I didn’t fear it at all, I felt I was ready and looking forward to it and I wanted to attack it.  I think I’ve done well so far but I think there’s more to come from me and we’ll see that as the season goes on and I’m looking forward to it.”

Ewan has already shown his versatility playing in midfield and when dropping back into a back three that has had its fair share of absences through injury. He continued:-

“I’ve enjoyed it. Every game is a tough game, there are no easy games, it’s a proper fight of a league.  I think we’re competing very well.  Every game, you need to be as switched on as any other game because it’s very tough.

“When you’re coming from academy football you need to adapt and it’s about how quickly you adapt. I think, physically in my nature, that puts me in a good position to adapt to the men’s game.  I’ve really enjoyed the physical side of things that you don’t get in academy football. I’ve enjoyed stepping up to that.

“When we were playing for the B team it was still possession based and teams didn’t really press us much, so we didn’t face the physical side much but in the Championship, the contests are a lot more even, in terms of the two teams playing against each other, so it’s different.”

Ewan was eight years of age when he first joined Celtic and came through the youth system to be offered a professional contract in June 2019 at the age of sixteen. Ewan describes his move from Celtic to Dunfermline as “the right time and the right the step. 

“I’ve not looked back since. To be honest, I’ve not really thought about it. This has been the right decision. Since I came here, I’m just enjoying it and want it to keep going.”

With Kyle Benedictus and Rhys Breen both out injured it is highly likely that the name Ewan Otoo will have been one of the first down on the manager’s team sheet. The preparations have been intense all week as Dunfermline set themselves up to take on an Inverness Caley Thistle, themselves seeking a win that would lift them further away from the foot of the table and into fifth place. Ewan knows to expect hard-to-beat opponents:-

“It’s been a good week of training, we’re just looking forward to Saturday. Inverness are looking really good, they’re playing good football so we’re expecting a tough game against a good footballing side, that’s what we’re prepared for.”

For Dunfermline three points from this ‘game in hand’ could  restore them into a play-off position and Ewan points out:-

“The incentive is there, when we play and no-one else is, we know we can gain points on those who aren’t playing. It’s a great incentive to try and get up the table and see where we are after the game. We’re just looking to get three points and go on from there.”

Although Dunfermline lost 2-1 to Dundee United they will take confidence from their performances against the odds-on favourites for the Championship title. Ewan reflected the feelings of the team:-

“That was a sore one to take. I think we all thought we deserved more from the game. So to lose it the way we did, once again to Dundee United, was tough.  We also went up there and lost to a last minute goal but we learn from these things and when we play them again, hopefully we’ll get our own back.  We’ve shown we can compete with almost everyone in this league, there’s nothing to be scared of. We showed in the second half here and also in the game up there, we can compete with the team at the top of the league.

“It shows where we are, we believe we are good enough to play against these teams. I think we’re right in amongst it, I think we’ll be right in there towards the end of the season.  Against all the teams we have played, no team has completely overrun us, there has been no-one we have felt we couldn’t compete against. Some performances might not have been so good but the results could still have gone either way.  So we’re looking to keep going game by game and see where it takes us.”

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