Par Paul Allan can achieve to his potentialMonday, 8th May 2017
Paul Allan has today (Monday) signed a two year deal at Dunfermline Athletic.
Head of Fife Elite Stephen Wright has witnessed Paul Allan`s progress right from the age of 9 when Stephen was his coach, he felt rightly proud that Paul had followed the entire pathway, through the difficult amalgamation into Fife Elite.
"Paul has come through that and done really well with the Fife Elite for the last two years. It has been a great success for the academy and for everybody involved.
"We played him up a level at 11s because he was comfortable and he was able to do it. He was good but when he got to eleven a side we put him back down again to his own level. That gave him a little bit more time.
"He reads the game so well and he has played up against so many bigger more physical players but he is able to cope. Even in the last few years he has played with Dunfermline 20s and coped really well.
"He is an intelligent player and we look forward to seeing how he progresses. He never gets done for pace, he is always one step ahead of the striker. He has good eyes and takes in good pictures before the ball comes to him and that enables him to buy time to make the next pass.
"He is a good passer of the ball, has good awareness, his distribution is good and these are really good attributes to have to take to the next stage. When he starts to grow he will bulk out with the work that he is now going to get full time."
Paul spent the month of April training with Benfica in Portugal and Stephen revealed that they rated him as a number six.
"In their way of looking at things a number six is somebody who sits in front of the back four and dictates and stops the play. They could see Paul doing that but they also said that he could play as an eight. That is kind of opposite to a six, more going forward and it was good to hear somebody else`s point of view.
"In the middle of the park he could start the play, he could stop the play, he could create as well so he has lots of good attributes that he can probably turn his hand to."
Being away and experiencing the culture in Portugal greatly assisted Paul`s development said Stephen:-
"They were mingling with first team players and B team players at Benfica. Seeing how they eat, how they look after themselves and hopefully he will bring that back. The fact that he did well over there should be good for his confidence.
"Coinciding with the fact that he has now been offered a contract, I hope that at the start of the season he is really going to kick on. He needs to make sure that from the first day that he is making his mark."
Seventeen year old Paul Allan told the website:-
"This is really my first ever job and I am just buzzing to get it underway." He has already met a number of his new `workmates` in that there are several who he has played with in the Under 20s.
"It has been a good experience because nearly all of them are older than me. I have enjoyed playing with the first team players if they are coming back from injury or who have dropped down to get fitness under their belt. I have learned from them and Potts has helped me a lot as well."
It was not John Potter but Stephen Wright who was his biggest influence through the Dunfermline youth system and Fife Elite. Prior to that it was his uncle who was his coach at Inverkeithing Boys Club but since he was ten years old he has been at Dunfermline.
In the U20s Paul has enjoyed learning from players like Lewis Martin, Callum Fordyce and John Potter. Potts said
"He has played a lot of matches for our Under 20s this season and is a player who I have known for a wee while. He has really come on in leaps and bounds over the past 18 months.
"Towards the end of last season and this season he has done very well. Stephen Wright and the boys at Fife Elite have worked hard with him, moved him about positions and so after a good year with the 17s and a good year with the 20s hopefully he can progress coming in full time and move up that next step.
"He has only played centre back for me. I have watched him in centre midfield as few times but even though he is not the biggest, he reads the game really well and has never really been caught out in any of the games. He has played against Jason Cummings and other first team players this season.
"He has played a couple of games at right back, mostly centre back and he can play at centre midfield. We will bring him in, have a look at him and it is good to have that versatility."
Potts agreed that it can be difficult signing young players since they all develop at different rates.
"Their bodies change, their schooling, everything changes all the time. You have to try and give them time. Paul will hopefully grow a little bit, get a bit stronger - it is up to us to try and help with that.
"Football wise he is a clever player, he is clever off the pitch, he has a great attitude and wants to get better and do well. Put all that together then he has a good chance of making it to a professional football player.
"The manager chatted to him this morning and told him that if he was good enough, it is up to him to progress and try and make an impression right away. We will be patient with him, we don`t think that he will do it overnight, you never know but we will give him time and hopefully he will progress into a first team player for Dunfermline."
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