Hammy welcomes St Pauli test

Dunfermline’s 20 year old vice captain, Chris Hamilton, played 90 minutes against St Pauli on Friday night in the team’s first match since signing off a successful season at Alloa on the first Saturday in May.  Just five days into pre season training the German 2.Bundesliga club did not disappoint as they gave the Fifers the toughest of welcome back greetings. Chris told the website that in terms of fitness and quality of opposition, it was just what they needed!

“We were expecting that, we were expecting a hard game. We knew they were going to be good and had a big squad over with them, so would probably be able to change most of their players at half-time, and they did that.  So, it was a good test for us, probably the hardest pre-season game you’re going to get.”

Chris joined the club from Hearts last June in time to get the full pre season experience at the club he has supported all his life. He pointed out that the week wasn’t a normal week leading up to the game. 

“Because it’s pre-season we needed to work hard as well, so the week was tough. The legs were still feeling it coming into the game, but that’s what pre-season’s about.  We expected that. We did a slightly lighter day on Thursday and tried to recover that night to make sure we were ready to give everything for the game. But it’s not about having the best match, it’s about getting your fitness and picking up wee things again, and I felt we did that.”

Chris felt that the players and the management team will probably learn a few things when they watch the game back and suggested that St Pauli could probably hold their own in the Scottish Premiership. 

“It’s hard to say because it was a pre-season game and neither of us had done a lot of training.  I thought they were good. In the first-half, we felt reasonably comfortable in the game and they didn’t create too much, although we didn’t create a lot either.  But they’re a good team and I think it showed in the second-half. We started to tire a little bit and they made subs and took control of the game.”

Having a tough first game like this should be beneficial for the team when it comes to facing the challenges of the forthcoming season. He agreed:-

“It’s only going to help us, because – although I don’t want to be disrespectful – I think they would probably win our league.  I don’t think we’re going to come up against a team like that.  So, to start pre-season with the toughest game we’re going to get all season then it can only get better.

“It wasn’t a negative night at all. We knew it was going to be tough but there were a lot of positives as well.  Our shape at times was really good, our press was good and their press was good and we managed to play around it a few times.”

Chris was one of six players to play the full match and on just the fifth day of pre-season he stressed that is not bad going. He also expressed his delight that recent signings have meant that three of last season’s on loan players – Kyle Ritchie-Hosler, Sam Fisher and Ewan Otoo – have all returned to the club.

“It’s big. We had a strong season last season and a strong squad. We had a good team spirit in the squad.  So to keep the majority of that together will be important.  It gives us a chance to build on last season. We don’t need to regroup and go again.  They’re all very good players so it’s good to have them back and a lot of them are on long-term deals as well.”

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