The closest Sam Fisher has come to playing at Tannadice Park was as a kit boy while an apprentice along the street at Dundee. Now the 22 year old Dunfermline defender is looking forward to playing there for the first time in his career. Both teams got off to winning starts in their first league games and Sam predicts that it will be a good game with supporters from both clubs creating a savoury atmosphere for the encounter:-
“When you’re walking on you notice it a wee bit but when you’re in the game you don’t notice it at all. It will be a big crowd with it being their first home game of the season but we have good crowds here all the time, so we’re used to it now in a way.”
Sam got a wee taster for the atmosphere in the Dundee derby and he recalled:-
“In that role you go in before half time and get the bottles ready and things like that. I was still an apprentice at the time at Dundee, so it was basically sorting all the kit out with the kit-woman at the time. It was me and a couple of other boys. I think it might be a wee bit different this time, a wee bit less hostile.”
Well maybe? With all the Dundee connections at Dunfermline – James McPake, Dave Mackay, Kyle Benedictus, Craig Wighton, Harry Sharp and Sam Fisher – it is unlikely that the opposition fans will have forgotten all of them. Sam was optimistic:-
“I don’t really think I’ll get too much abuse from the United fans but, even if I do, I couldn’t care less. Like I say, we probably won’t hear any of it on the park so they can give it to anyone as much as they want but we’ll not hear it.”
Other than continuing their upper hand over the Diamonds, few indications can be taken from last Saturday’s match against Airdrieonians. Both sides were promoted from League One but there should be a noticeable step up when taking on a team relegated from the Premiership. Sam defended the quality of the promoted clubs:-
“United have got good players but so do Airdrie. Airdrie will cause teams in this league a lot of problems. They caused us a few problems but that’s because they’re a really good outfit. They’ve got a good way of playing out and they stick to it. We’re not looking at United as if they’re the big fish or they’re any different to Airdrie, because all the teams have got different threats all over the park. We’ll take it game by game. Yes, they’re a good team – but so are we and we’ll go there with confidence.”
That confidence comes from the Pars opening day victory and Sam said that was what every team was after especially if you are a newly-promoted team.
“It was really good to get off to a good start but it’s literally game by game and it could change after a couple of weeks. We’ll go into this one with confidence after last weekend’s performance. We’re 25 games unbeaten in the league, so it’s a really good run we’re on just now. We want to continue that. We know it’s going to be a difficult task against United but it’s something we’re more than capable of doing.
“We’ve got our different threats. Defensively, we’re very good. You can tell that by the results over the last year or so, and going forward as well we can cause a lot of teams problems. United will be thinking the exact same after their performance in their first game of the season. So, I’m sure it’ll be a great game for the crowd as well and I’m sure everyone will be looking forward to it.”
It will also be goalkeeper Harry Sharp’s first senior match at Tannadice. Harry is just a few months older than Sam, they have known each other for five years and played together many times for Dundee at youth level. Sam feels that the Aberdonian will prove to be a great member of the Fifers squad:-
“I’ve played with him for a good few years and I know his qualities and all that. We’ve got Deniz out injured just now, but he’ll be back soon, and we’ve got Max there as well – all three good goalies. So, I’m more than comfortable with any of the three of them behind us but Harry’s a great addition, not just on the park but in the changing room as well. He’s a great boy and I think he’s settling in really well.”