Dunfermline Athletic

Baz and Craw zoom in on preparations

Wednesday, 17th Jun 2020

“Because I have a good relationship with Barry, we are keeping in touch just giving us some good ideas.”

The coaching staff and players are all desperate to get back on the training ground with prospects of matches possibly in mid October. Stevie Crawford is looking forward to that day and he explained the current situation:-

“Because the players are still furloughed I cannot officially give them anything in terms of their training regime but I have spoken to them and I know that the players have been looking after themselves, going out and doing running. I made a point of going through all the squad just to see how they were dealing with things mentally.

“They all said that they had been looking after themselves - ‘I have been training, doing my running’ and I said look at I am not on the phone to chase you for this. I have been in a situation where I have been furloughed and I want to speak to you just to make sure that you are alright mentally, asking if their families are all okay, The consensus from speaking to the majority of them is that they are desperate to get back. They just want a bit of normality in their life, whatever normality is going to be moving forward.

“Players complain about getting disciplined and structure but when you take them away from it, they also then feel vulnerable. I think they are missing that. The challenge for us is when we eventually do get back, it’s going to be the type of training that we are going to give them. They have longer off now than they have ever had.

“I never went through this length of time away from football as a player and my concern is that the boys have probably done more longer distance running than you would do as a football player where it is short sharp and change of direction stuff. We will have to monitor this when they come in.”

Stevie also revealed that he was keeping in touch with former team mate at Dunfermline - Barry Nicholson who is currently helping to prepare Joey Barton`s side for the League One Play Off’s.

“I am also keeping in touch with Barry on zoom. Fleetwood Town are ahead of us because they started back two weeks ago working with smaller groups and the challenges that that brings. Things that have already worked for them, things he thought weren’t so good. Because I have a good relationship with Barry, we are keeping in touch just giving us some good ideas.

£Alright we have some ourselves but to try and get levels that work for them and what didn’t work for them because they have a big game coming up in their League One Championship play-offs. That is something that we will have to face but in the main the boys are just desperate to get back training again.”

Above: Barry Nicholson in discussion with Stevie Crawford and Derek Young ahead of Scottish Cup Final 2004

The Pars manager is mindful that it is not just the coaches and players that want to see Dunfermline Athletic take to the pitch as soon as they can:-

“The club means a lot to a vast amount of people. They put their hands in their pockets, they have done it during this time when I am manager of the club but I know that they have done it in previous years as well. Not just the players everybody just wants to see the club playing football again so that they can get a chance of talking about it.

“I sense people are just desperate to be talking about something other than the virus. Fingers crossed I think that we are slowly seeing the government moving things on and talking about phase 3 soon possibly. You just hope things progress in that manner and they are looking at getting football back for everyone.”

Commenting on the closed doors requirements, Stevie said that he could not see being asked to do that for too long:-

“In the Scottish Championship the main revenue comes through the gate. It is different from the English Premiership or when you look at the German League, they are majorly backed by television investments and sponsorship. They have had different pressures and different challenges to face to try and get up and running.

“I imagine if on the back of getting our top league up and running, and the Scottish Championship following behind that there will be discussions in place to try and get games with crowds as soon as possible but that has to be led by the government.

“You just have to follow the guidelines in whatever phase we are at. At the end of the day it is all about making sure that we are doing everything safely and the NHS are protected to make sure that we get through this pandemic.”

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