McCann signs contract extension 

Dunfermline Athletic is pleased to announce that striker Lewis McCann has signed a contract extension, with option, until 2026. 

The agreement comes five years after Lewis joined the club from Fife Elite in May 2018 but such has been the 22 year old’s form this season manager James McPake was delighted to get the deal completed:-

“After every game, it was starting to look like the point where we were one game away from him deciding not to sign it, because he’s been doing so well.”

James McPake and his assistant, Dave Mackay have been very impressed with Lewis since they arrived at Dunfermline in the summer of 2021. James said:-

“When we first came into the club, we watched this player and both myself and Dave said, ‘if we can’t make this player better then we shouldn’t be coaches’.  That’s not to say we’re the reason for his improvement. I think Lewis has taken on board just how powerful he is and just how effective he can be.

“He’s got confidence and he’s done a lot of work himself. He’s open and he’s always coming and asking questions. He got to know us and realised he could chap on the door.  We’ll watch videos and we’ll do bits and pieces, and he’s maybe maturing and feels he can now ask questions and not feel like a young kid.”

Such is their admiration of Lewis his mentors, two former defenders, are relieved that they don’t have to defend against him. James added:-

“When Lewis McCann is on it, Dave and I have conversations most days about how we wouldn’t like to be playing against him.  That’s not being disrespectful to me and Dave, but he would have torn us to shreds. He is that effective. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s a throwback at times, because he can take the hits – and he can give hits.

“Sometimes nowadays, particularly with younger ones, you can ruffle them up a wee bit but not with him. He grows into the game when you start doing that to him. He’s great to work with, he really is, and I’m delighted to get that one done.”

The manager praised the club for enabling the contract extension to be agreed:- 

“To be fair, there’s been a lot of talk about it since the start of the season.  It’s not been anybody’s fault that it’s taken a while, it’s just been a process.  I know of two Premiership clubs who have asked about him and to be fair to Lewis and Liam, who looks after him, they know that as well.

“He sees at least his next two years of development at Dunfermline.  If he stays injury-free, and keeps learning and keeps working hard, which I’m sure he will, because I know his character now, that lad can go and do what he wants.”

Lewis came through a serious hamstring injury last season and that demonstrated he is a player with mental strength. Already capped for Northern Ireland at under 19 and under 21 level, Lewis has scored 20 goals in his 113 appearances for Dunfermline. James is confident that his striker can follow his older brother Ali to go and play at a higher level south of the border:-

“I don’t mean go and play for Man City, but he’s built to go and play in England. I played down there in the Championship and he’s built to go down there but he’s got so much to learn, and that’s what excites me about him – because he’s willing to learn.”

If Lewis fulfils his potential it will certainly be to Dunfermline’s benefit” predicted the gaffer:-

“The potential going forward with Lewis is a mixture of things. There’s three things involved: most importantly, Lewis staying focused and doing well; secondly, avoiding serious injury; and thirdly, what can we add to his game?  And in that order because that’s how it has been. 

“As much as we want to take credit for the development in Lewis, the biggest credit in that is down to Lewis, in the way he works hard every day.  He’s genuinely the only player, even on a Friday, that you need to tell to get off the training pitch.

“We’ve done our recovery on the Sunday, we were off on the Monday, we’ve done extras on the Tuesday, we’ve done a double session on a Wednesday, extras on a Thursday and he still comes up and asks for extras on the Friday. He’s genuinely the only player I’ve ever had that with.”

With Lewis being so dynamic and so quick, James finds it incredible how much he still wants to work on his game.  

“It must be evident to people watching how much his touch and his link-up play has progressed over the last year. I’ve seen a lot of improvement and Lewis has got to take 90 per cent of the credit for that.

“We can ask him to do things in games, but he’s got to make the decision on the pitch to do it, and he’s getting more decisions right than wrong now.  When we first came in that wasn’t the case. He’s from a lovely family as well, a sporting family, and his brother’s doing great. If he can go on to follow his brother to England then I’m sure the family will be proud.”

Read Lewis’s reaction to his contract extension

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