Nisbet for ScotlandTuesday, 16th Mar 2021
“If you’re going to lose your players you want to see them going to the highest level possible and it’s great that Kevin has done that.”
Dunfermline manager Stevie Crawford feels that everyone associated with the club will be rooting for the former Pars striker, Kevin Nisbet as he experiences his first international call up. “Like everybody, we want Scotland to win as many games as possible, and he’ll have our full support.”
“Any player that you’ve worked with, and Kevin had a successful period with us last year, it’s great to see them in the Scotland squad. I know that he is no longer our player but I would like to wish him all the very best. Whether he gets minutes on the pitch, that will be the next thing in Kevin’s career.
“On behalf of everybody at Dunfermline Football Club, we wish him all the best and we’re delighted to see he’s involved in the full squad for the first time.”
The skilful striker started his career in Patrick’s Thistle Weir Academy, had successful on loan spells with East Stirling, Ayr United and Dumbarton and also made 15 appearances for Partick Thistle. When released in 2018 by Partick, Kevin joined Raith Rovers and the twenty two year old left to sign for Dunfermline he had made 46 appearances and scored 34 goals in his season there.
Nisbet was a great success at Dunfermline and finished the curtailed 2019–20 season having scored 23 goals in 32 appearances. His success attracted interest from other clubs and Kevin duly moved to Hibernian for the 2020-2021 season. His progression to the international squad is evidence of tremendous achievement. Stevie reflected:-
“I’m not talking about Kevin Nisbet specifically here, but players mature at different ages, depending on who they’re working with. They can end up working someone at the right time in their career and then the penny can drop.
“Kevin has said it a few times, that he started looking after himself better, in terms of his fitness. We’ve only played a small part in that, in helping him on a journey that he’s now managing to get recognition from the national squad. Let’s hope it doesn’t end here.”
Stevie hopes an indirect benefit to Dunfermline will be the possibility of attracting other players with ambition and aspirations to progress by coming to East End Park.
“In Kevin’s development, he’s worked with a lot of good people and we’ve played a part in that. But to get the opportunity now to go into the international set-up, he’ll see it as another challenge yet again.
“I’d like to hope when you look at the work we’ve done in the previous transfer windows now, that can be an attraction for players wanting to come and play for Dunfermline Football Club. That will help us.
“We didn’t want to lose Kevin in the summer but, realistically, there was an offer put on the table and we’ve always said we don’t want to stand in a player’s way if they feel it’s the right opportunity and it’s right for the club.
“I think it’s been a win-win. On the back of losing Kevin we’ve also managed to sign some very good players. So, people can see it as an opportunity and I’m sure they will in the future want to sign for the club on the back of something like this. If you’re going to lose your players you want to see them going to the highest level possible and it’s great that Kevin has done that.”
It is over 25 years since Stevie was drafted into a full Scotland squad for the first time and although the circumstances were different he is still able to recall the thrill and honour of it all:-
“Mine was probably slightly different in that it came towards the end of the season and there were a few pull-outs by the more senior players for the squad going to Japan. But I do remember the feeling and it was a boyhood dream of mine when playing my under age football in Oakley and telling my grandad that I wanted to play for my country one day, it was always something I wanted to do.
“I’m sure he’s no different. When you go there, it’s a massive thing to play for your country and hopefully Kevin gets that opportunity.”
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