Dunfermline Athletic

Pars sign Smith and Morrison

Thursday, 27th Apr 2017

Youth players Stuart Morrison and Callum Smith have signed contract extensions with Dunfermline.

Stuart Morrison who has been with Dunfermline since the age of eight told the website:-

"I wasn`t really expecting it because I had a year left on my contract. I was delighted when I found out that I was going to get an extra year, I am happy with that."

The extension keeps the 18 year old at Dunfermline until the end of season 2018-2019 and he added:-

"I have another couple of years to develop and hopefully in that time I can push my way into the first team."

Stuart made his debut for the 20s at Inverness just days after his fifteenth birthday and despite his youth he now has extensive experience in the under 20s.

"I have had a good two, almost three years, playing there and I hope that I can make the step up to the next level next season."

The Development League games have seen Stuart paired with several experienced defenders including Callum Fordyce, Lewis Martin, Euan Spark and even John Potter.

"Playing with different players means that I can improve my game. I hadn`t played with Potts for a while but after training he pulls me aside and does some heading or defensive one v one situations which I need to work on. With him being a centre half as well he has lots of pointers that he can teach me."

In the Development League Stuart has had to deal with plenty of tall strong strikers but he claimed that he did not mind who he plays against:-

"I quite enjoy the physical side of the game and if it`s a big guy then I am up for the challenge but if it is a wee quick striker then I am happy to play against them as well."

Stuart has pitched in with four goals this season and he freely admits this is something that he needs to add to his game.

"Compared to last season we have got results. We started the season quite slow with not a lot of consistency in our results or performances.

"From about November until March we were doing really well but again in the last few weeks the standards have maybe dropped a little and we have conceded goals that we weren`t doing in the early part of the season.

"We won on Tuesday at Kilmarnock and we hope to win against St Johnstone next Tuesday to end the season well.

"I need to come back for next season, try and impress and try and get near the first team. If not maybe to go out on loan to try and get first team experience because that is the next thing I need in my development."

Like Stuart, Callum Smith was very happy to sign a one year extension to his contract. He told the website:-

"I didn`t expect to do as well as I did this season because I was out injured the year before but I came back flying and scoring goals every week. Then I got injured again not that long ago but came back again scoring a few goals. Hopefully I can keep it up into next season."

It was his heel that was keeping him out but he claims that he is fully fit now and is hoping to score a few goals in the last game on Tuesday."

The seventeen year old who attended Cowdenbeath Primary and Beath High Schools has scored twelve goals this season and is pleased with his progress:-

"I feel like I have coped with it well because I have played against a few experienced first team centre backs in the 20s. I feel that I have done well against them.

"At 17s last season there wasn`t as much of a challenge. They were all my age and small as well. I like playing against more physical centre backs because it brings me on quicker."

Callum started at Cowdenbeath, joined Dunfermline at under 15 level before the amalgamation of the Fife clubs into Fife Elite. He claims that playing with the likes of David Hopkirk, Michael Moffat, Lewis Spence and Michael Paton has encouraged him to do the right things.

Tuesday night`s match at Kilmarnock was a great example of how Michael Paton helps young players when he drops into the Development team, Callum continued:-

"He always looks for me because I am always making runs in behind. Pates is always looking forward and trying to get me in behind because that is his game too.

"Lewis Spence has played a lot of first team games and he is always looking for my feet as well.

"I feel that it has been a brilliant season. I had a few injuries but I have come back stronger. Hopefully I can come back flying and try and get into the first team, if not hopefully I could go out on loan to try and get some first team experience because that is what I need I would say to develop. Playing against more physical boys will help bring me on."

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