Dunfermline Athletic

Paul Watson first interview

Wednesday, 1st Jul 2020

“You move on quickly from it and I am fully committed here and really looking forward to getting started.

The first player signed by Stevie Crawford is well known to the Championship and it is hoped that Paul Watson can now be in a title winning team for successive seasons. The central defender who featured 23 times for title winners Dundee United last season has penned a two year deal with the Pars.

Paul told the website that he was disappointed not to be offer a new contract at Tannadice but that emotion has totally changed having drawn the attentions of Stevie Crawford and a club like Dunfermline.

“I had been told that I was being kept on and then it never happened, but that’s football. You move on quickly from it and I am fully committed here and really looking forward to getting started.

“I met with the manager and spoke with him a couple of weeks ago. We had a good chat and I really liked what he had to say and his ambitions for the club. I made my mind up fairly quickly and I am delighted to be here.

“Everyone that I know who has worked with him previously speaks very highly of him and speak very highly of the club, so it was an easy decision for me.”

Paul Watson signing first interview
Tue, 30th Jun 2020

Paul played in just one of Dundee United’s three games against Dunfermline last season and before looking ahead to the coming season he joked:-

“I played in the last one, it was good for Dunfermline, not so much for us that day.”

Unless things change United are going to be replaced by Hearts in the Championship and Paul predicted that they are going to be massive favourites to win it. However he also harbours ambition for the Pars to finish much higher than last season’s sixth:-

“We have to be looking at being at least in the play-offs. Then anything can happen and with such a short season as well, just 27 games, a good start will be crucial.”

Paul acknowledged that it was tough not being able to celebrate winning the title with his Dundee United teammates but hopes to have something to celebrate with Dunfermline at the end of the 2020-2021 season:-

“Playing in the championship I think I have come second three times, been on two or three play-off finals and lost one on penalties as well. It was getting closer and eventually when we win it I was sitting in my living room myself and could not really celebrate. I have not seen the trophy or medal so it was a bit bizarre. As everything is just now, it’s strange times. Hopefully there is more success to come.”

Paul has not played alongside any of the Pars players before but knows them well from being on the other side in matches. “There will be more people to come in and it will be interesting to see if I know any of them.”

The East End Park fans however are well known to the 29 year old who has also been in visiting sides for matches against the Pars with both great rivals, Raith Rovers and Falkirk.

”They were good games and you want the fans in for those kind of games especially. It makes it a better occasion and I am looking forward to that. East End Park is a tough place for away teams to come as I have found out many times.

“The fixtures will be interesting as well because it will be two games at home and one away against certain teams. We will be keeping a close eye on that to see how that affects us.”

Watching English matches shown lived on television with no crowds present has not excited Paul as a pastime, he confessed to finding them hard to watch:-

“It certainly is not the same but it is good to have the football back on again, it gives us something to watch. Many of them have been 0-0 at half-time and like training ground games. It must be difficult for them as well because they didn’t have a lot of time to prepare before they are back in competition.

“Here it will be whatever teams adapt quickest to that will have the most success. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.”

Since the Friday 13th March when lockdown caused football in Scotland to end Paul has been following a programme that United gave their players to follow:-

“I have been doing runs and keeping fit but then obviously the league got called. I have had a couple of weeks off and now it is just trying to keep yourself busy, keeping fit, running, keeping as active as possible. It is difficult because you don’t want to do too much and burn yourself out because the season is still a good two months away.

“I don’t know if players will get holidays and if so I don’t know where they will go! That is for the management to figure out it is just such a bizarre time. Nobody knows because this has never happened before. Nobody knows how it’s going to go and when the games start will the fans get into the stadium? In my opinion I think the fans will get back in the stadiums sooner than they thought and hopefully that’s the way it goes.”

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