Michael O’Halloran first interview


The former St Johnstone and Rangers winger Michael O’Halloran has signed a two-year deal with the Pars and he made his starting debut with 45 minutes in Sunday’s friendly against Hearts.  A three-time cup winner at St Johnstone, the 32-year-old ended a third spell with St Johnstone when he was released in the summer.

Michael said he was delighted to come to Dunfermline since his initial impression was that the facilities and the infrastructure suggest it possesses all the potential to be a Premier League club. He claimed that the welcome he received from his new team mates influenced his decision to become a Par:-

“Having been in training with the boys, they have made me feel really wanted and I think that is important. When you feel good in an environment and when you come into work every day, that helps. It has been great coming in to training so I’m looking forward to being part of the group now, pushing on and helping this season.”

Michael was a Scottish Cup winner with St Johnstone in 2014 and the Saints captain that day was Pars current assistant manager, Dave Mackay.  Michael was 23 years of age when he collected that cup winners medal, ten years younger than Dave but he did not dismiss the suggestion that his former team mate played a role in him coming to Dunfermline:-

“I know Dave well, I played with him and had great times at St Johnstone – when we won the cup he was the captain. Yeah, that was a big part, he text me and asked what did I feel about coming in? Then I spoke to the manager as well and he was great. The two of them have been brilliant and they played a big part in my decision to come and sign.”

Michael spent a fair chunk of last season on the bench for St Johnstone and had started only one match before joining Cove Rangers on loan from the end of February. At Cove he made nine appearances all as starts but his last action was in mid April when an injury after 30 minutes against Arbroath ended his season prematurely.  He described how he felt after his first start for Dunfermline:-

“All good, I have been in training with the boys, it has been great for me to get my fitness up but you need that match fitness and that only comes through minutes on the pitch. 

“I’m delighted to get out there, get the boots on and playing again in what I felt was a great turn out from the fans. Obviously it is pre-season and it’s a friendly but that helps give it that wee bit more to it.”

Match sharpness will come from playing games and he is already looking forward to the friendly away to Alloa on Tuesday night. 

“I will use that and hopefully I can play some minutes. Obviously it all starts next week – the real start – so if I can get more minutes under my belt on Tuesday it will be good.”

Having made 362 senior appearances at eight different clubs, mainly at a high level, Michael brings important experience with him but pointed out that the likes of Kyle Benedictus and Craig Wighton can do that as well:-

“Of course there are a few boys in there like Bene and Wighty but it’s a good mix I think. It is important that you help pass on that experience to the younger lads and maybe help them out a bit as well. It’s a really good blend and hopefully it pays dividends on the pitch.”

Having played in the Championship last season Michael is ideally placed to know what to expect and how Dunfermline might fair there but the new man was not going to make any hasty predictions. He did however forecast that he would relish playing at the KDM Group Stadium:-

“I think the club is in a really good place, when you have been promoted you have that bit of momentum from last season and you hope to continue it. There is a long season ahead but they are young, keen and eager to go and do well. Hopefully that serves us well and we can push up as high as we can and be there or thereabouts. That has got to be the aim without saying too much.

“Last season I wanted to go and get games. Cove are a great club and they were just unfortunate at the end. It is a difficult league, it is going to be tough against every team. It will be a bit of a battle but I’m looking forward to coming to play here every second week, it looks great.”

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