Mark Durnan signs for DunfermlineWednesday, 6th Jun 2018
Dunfermline Athletic are pleased to announce the signing of Mark Durnan one a one-year deal.
Mark Durnan is delighted to sign for Dunfermline Athletic and be back under Allan Johnston’s managerialship. Mark was at Queen of the South for three years, the first of which were with AJ in charge before the gaffer moved on to manage Kilmarnock. Mark told this website:-
“It is good to be here. The manager spoke to me after both United and Dunfermline had finished their seasons and he showed interest in bringing me to the football club.
“I worked with the manager previously at Queen of the South and I know what him and Sandy are all about. Once we had talks I just wanted to get the deal done.
“I really want to go and enjoy myself playing good football and certainly want to do that at this club. I have signed for one year.
“Dundee United expressed that they were going to have a fresh start. The manager there wants to bring in his own players and I totally respect that. The best thing for me personally was to get away and have a fresh start at a new club and a new adventure. I am just delighted to finally sign for Dunfermline Football Club and I cannot wait to get playing.”
Mark started his career in the youth team of Clyde, before moving to St Johnstone in 2008. But in his time at St Johnstone he was not to make a first team appearance for the club and went out on loan a number of times, firstly in August 2010 to Arbroath. The following season, he was loaned to firstly Stranraer and then in January 2012 to Elgin City for the rest of the season.
It was when he joined Queen of the South for season 2012–13 that he struck his first success. At the end of the season, Durnan was one of six Queen of the South players named in the PFA Scotland 2012–13 Second Division Team of the Year. He talked about his season under AJ at Queen of the South:-
“That year we won the league and cup double under the manager and Sandy. It was a very successful season and a lot of players from that team have moved on to better things. Hopefully this year we can replicate that and push the club on further.”
The effort to take Dunfermline out of the Championship was thwarted in the play offs by Durnan’s Dundee United and Mark is a familiar opponent having played nine times against the Pars over the last two season as an opponent. He continued:-
“They are always games that I have enjoyed, it has always been a good atmosphere and I am certainly looking forward to playing my matches at East End Park.
“I like to play football if we can and that is something that I’d like to bring to Dunfermline. My job is to be here as a defender and make sure that we are keeping clean sheets.
“No player likes to bum themselves up but I am a defender first and foremost, that is your job. You need to win your headers, your tackles and positionally you need to know where you are as a defender.
“I think I speak and talk very well for my age, that is always something that has been impressed upon me by managers and it is something that I have embraced. I love chatting to my players around me.”
One of the closest around about him is likely to be Lee Ashcroft and very much on the cards that Mark would be asked to form a defensive partnership with Lee.
“I don’t know him personally, I have seen him about. He is obviously from the West of Scotland as well. He has done well since he came to the club and he has just signed a two year deal which is great for him.
“If me and him are going to be in partnership then that would be great. It would be good to get a good understanding of each other and go and progress as the season goes on. I think any good team is based on a solid defensive partnership and you continue that through your spine. Fingers crossed that we can both kick the season off strong.
“We are hoping to have a competitive squad and whoever plays is playing for the jersey and winning matches.”
In his three seasons at United Mark scored ten goals and at Queens found the net 16 times. Can you come up with goals for Dunfermline too?
“I don’t think my tally is too bad. I am known for a goal now and then, hopefully if I can keep a clean sheet then that’s great but it is always good when your defenders can pop up and add a goal. That makes a difference.”
Mark came on as a late sub in the play off game at Tannadice. He explained that had as a result of an ankle ligaments injury five weeks prior to that in a match against St Mirren.
“I played on that day and probably made the damage a wee bit worse. But I was actually just back fit for the first leg and was just back in training that morning. I wasn’t really fully fit but pushed myself to try and make myself available.
“The fact I wasn’t playing was just down to injury and not playing for five weeks. I was glad to get on the park. I am back fit now ready to go so that is always good.”
The new Dunfermline defender feels that the club needs to make the play offs again this season at the very least.
“It was a good step, that is where the club saw themselves. At the start of the season United, Dunfermline, St Mirren and Livingston were all up there. At one stage Dunfermline were probably St Mirren’s closest rivals. So I think we just need to build on that and be more consistent.
“If you have a bad game it is all about how you bounce back. If you can bounce back with a win after a defeat then it is always good.
“We need to try and progress. Dunfermline had the players this year but I think next year there has to be the same or better. It has to be looking to get promotion. I think that will be the ambition of the manager and I’m pretty sure that is what will be installed into the players at Dunfermline this season.”
The Championship is going to be a different league with four new teams but Mark thinks it is going to be an exciting league and he is certainly looking forward to it.
“It is going to be a very interesting league and the most competitive league for a while. There will be a few teams going into the league campaign fancying their chances. Dunfermline should definitely be in that bracket. We should be setting the bar high.”
After the dreadful record of late against Dundee United, Mark is hoping to continue to be in the winning team:-
“Any game I go into I want to win. It doesn’t matter whether I’m playing Dundee United or Ayr United, I want to win matches.”
Mark will join the rest of the squad for pre season training on Thursday 15th June, he added:-
“You don’t look forward to the running but it just something that you have to get on with. You want to be as fit as you can for the season, it sets you in good stead. I just can’t wait to get in now, get training and get ready for the season ahead.”