Dunfermline Athletic

Josh relieved to have Kevin on side

Wednesday, 17th Feb 2021

“He gave me a bit of a runaround the last time we played Alloa at East End Park. I wasn’t exactly fond of him when he first signed but I would have in my team now.

While the first match against Alloa Athletic this season saw the Fifers record a 4-1 at the Indodrill Stadium, the Pars twenty year old full back Josh Edwards has long puzzled over why Dunfermline’s record against Alloa Athletic is so poor.

In four matches against Alloa last season Josh was never on the winning side and he attributed a huge part of the problem being an opponent called Kevin O’Hara who he was up against every time. Josh recalled in particular the most recent home meeting in December 2019:-

“He gave me a bit of a runaround the last time we played Alloa at East End Park. I made a huge mistake and kicked it off their striker’s back and Kev ran through and scored. I wasn’t exactly fond of him when he first signed but I would have in my team now. We have had a few jokes about it since he joined us.”

Alloa Athletic have become a bit of a bogey team for Dunfermline with the last home victory over the Wasps being in May 2013. Josh admitted that he had been wondering why that is:-

“I don’t know what it is, they are obviously a good team. They have not been picking up the results this season but the way they play is really nice, good football but I cannot tell you the exact reason why we have struggled against them recently. We got gifted a couple of goals the last time we played them. I am not sure that it will be as easy as that last time.”

For Josh and Dunfermline it is to get back on winning trail but also the extinguish the nightmare at Gayfield:-

“Even though they are bottom of the league, we cannot take Alloa lightly given the history we have had over the last season or two against them. We need to make sure that we are at it, bounce back from the Arbroath game, take all three points to get ourselves back on track.

“We had a good showing against Raith, a bit of a blip against Arbroath so you want to get back out and redeem yourself after that. The weather took its toll and the Dundee game was off, but hopefully we can bounce back this weekend.”

The Pars left back has played in all Dunfermline’s 21 matches this season. 21 starts, 21 finishes and although many might think that he would appreciate the break created by the bad weather he would rather be out on the park:-

“We had three games in a week so I suppose it was a break but after a defeat like Arbroath you just want to go out and play. You train all week, working to face that specific team but when called off your attention has to change to a completely different team.”

At 1,920 minutes of football this season, Josh could not have made it any more, playing week to week to bring his Dunfermline appearances up to 40 and exceeding his previous highest goal as an Airdrie player.

“I wanted to play every game but I didn’t expect to be ever present. I had a season at Airdrie where I played a lot of games but I have played every minute so far. It has been different but I have really enjoyed playing every game and being part of the team the whole season. Long may it continue!”

Josh will be 21 at the end of this season and agrees the ageing experience has helped him out but it is the major benefit from playing every match that makes him a better player:-

“Compared to last season, I can see and feel the difference in me now. I am sure the fans can as well. I feel that I have definitely come on leaps and bounds as a football player. The more minutes I get the more I feel that I am improving and it has definitely been a factor playing all these games.

“I think defensively I have got a lot better at defending one v ones, picking up on player tendencies and what opponents want to do. As part of the back four I am now more experienced knowing where I want to be when the ball is on the other side of the park for example.

“Just little things like communication, just talking and telling other players where other players are. By playing more you just get used to talking and it is such a big part of the game.”

Looking over his shoulder Josh does not take his selection for granted and the signing of full back, Kyle Macdonald from his old club, Airdrie, is a reminder that there are others seeking selection. Josh was signed from Airdrie in July 2019 and made 13 starts and 6 sub appearances last season for Dunfermline. He has progressed this season cementing his presence in Stevie Crawford’s team and commends the route to first team football at East End Park just as long as it is not at his expense!

“Kyle has come in and he has been doing well to be fair to him. He is keeping me and Aaron (Comrie) on our toes. Making the move, stepping up in his career is definitely going to be good for him.”

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