Dunfermline Athletic

Afolabi scoring with expert advice

Monday, 9th Mar 2020

Jonathan Afolabi came to Dunfermline to get his first taste of senior football and so far he feels that it has been a good move

Jonathan Afolabi joined Celtic in August 2019 and they agreed to their young attacking talent going on loan to East End Park until the end of the season. The 20 year old striker has started all five Dunfermline matches since arriving at the end of January.

The Irish U19 internationalist scored his first goal in the 2-0 win over Dundee United and followed that up with another from the penalty spot to draw the match against Queen of the South. He is now looking forward to helping the Pars push for a play off place.

“There was nothing specific said from the guys at Celtic, it was something I wanted to do, to play professional football.  I’m glad to be here at Dunfermline and it’s been a great start, I just want to keep it going.”

Jon came through the youth system at Southampton before coming north and agreeing a three year deal with Celtic so his Dunfermline goals were his first at senior level. He was the designated penalty taker on Saturday so he was delighted to slot away the 46th minute penalty:-

"I’ve had a few penalties at reserve level but it’s always good to put away my first penalty in the professional game so I was delighted.
 
“I think we should have got more out of the game on Saturday to be fair, we kept sticking to our positive ways but the luck didn’t come our way at the end but we go again on Tuesday.”

The luck was certainly out in 11th minute of the match when Euan Murray’s header might have crossed the line but the match officials gauged that it hadn’t. Jon commented on where he was at the corner kick:-

“I had my back to the goal because I was on the keeper so I didn’t see it. I just turned around and saw the keeper had the ball in his hands. Some of the lads in the stand said it looked in from a distance but then some guys on the pitch said it wasn’t.  It was 50-50, you can see why the referee wouldn’t give it.”

He has played just 175 minutes alongside the Pars top goalscorer, Kevin Nisbet, before an ankle injury has ended the partnership but the on loan Celt is happy to be given the opportunity to score in his absence:-
 
“It’s a good challenge for all of us to try and fill the void that Nizzy has left but I’m sure he’ll be back in a couple of weeks. In that time we have to do what we can to get our names on the score sheet.

“Kevin is a great mentor, even though he’s injured.  He came into the dressing room at the start of the game and spoke to me and Lewis McCann, two younger lads, and he gave us good pointers before the game.
 
“I’m delighted with my performance so far and all I can do is keep it up and I’m sure the goals will follow. First thing first, I have to work for the team. I have to be able to run around and press for the lads and hopefully I’ll be rewarded with goals.
 
“It’s been a tough start, I only made my debut at the start of February.  It was good to get a run of games and I feel up to pace now and I should be ready to go again.”

Jonathan has now faced Queen of the South twice, Inverness, Dundee United and Arbroath. While they have each been very different opponents, Jon compared his recent experience with the reserve game football that he had been playing before coming to Dunfermline:-
 
“It’s a lot more physical and you have to be smart in the way you play, it’s something you can learn along the way.
 
“I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the manager and people like Nizzy to tell me things I can do to be better at, so it’s good to be able to learn from people like them.

“Tuesday will be a big one for us, we didn’t take the chance we had on Saturday but sure, we go again then and try and get the three points at Partick.



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