Proud to be a ParFriday, 3rd Dec 2021
MT: - “My mum and dad come to most games that I am involved in, my mates are sitting in the stand so it is just good to be involved.
Matty Todd grew up watching the likes of Martin Hardie, Gary Mason and Joe Cardle and then Shaun Byrne after them. A lifelong Pars fan, Matty was just ten years of age when he watched Dunfermline in the 2011-2012 season, the last time they were a Premiership club. He would love to be part of a team that took them back up there. This week he acknowledged:-
“It is definitely going to be a challenge but I’m sure this group of boys with this manager can definitely get there. It will take time but I’m sure that we can do it.
“I am delighted to be involved at the moment. In recent weeks it has been good picking up victories when we needed them although Friday night was a tough one to take. I thought we deserved something, maybe a replay but we will move on to Saturday and it is a big one against Hamilton.”
When Matty started his first match of the season against Morton on 6th November, his midfield partner was Paul Allan, his long term friend and team mate through the age groups of the Dunfermline youth system. It was Paul’s ninth start of the season but when Graham Dorrans recovered from injury it was Matty who retained the starting role alongside the skipper prompting Matty to joke “I don’t think he is too happy to be honest.”
Graham Dorrans has experience of approaching 450 senior matches and playing alongside the 34 year old former Scottish internationalist, has benefited both the protégés of the Dunfermline youth system as Matty confirmed:-
“Graham is fantastic with the boys off the pitch. Especially with me because we are similar positions, when he thinks I need help he gives me the help that I need. I cannot fault what Graham does for me off the pitch.”
There is no lack of experience around Matty in midfield and he has appreciated the support of Ryan Dow and Dom Thomas as well:-
“It is definitely bringing my game on and I feel a better player for it playing around these guys. Ryan Dow has been fantastic since he came to the club especially with myself. Dom is just Dom, he is absolutely brilliant. I can’t fault them for the help given to me.”
Matty also praised the contribution made by Lewis McCann who is a just one week older than him, underlining the impact of home grown talent:
“Big McCann was absolutely superb against Ayr, his two goals were thoroughly deserved. I am just delighted for him and Paul, for all of us to be fair. To all be involved at the same time is good. “
Having made his debut as a seventeen year old in the Challenge Cup win at Inverness in August 2018, Matty’s first Dunfermline league start was not until April 2019 versus Partick Thistle and he managed none in the 2019-2020 season. Although it was Greg Shields and Steven Whittaker who handed Matty a start this season, it has been a real boost to him that the new manager has retained him in his line up:-
“It is brilliant, I can’t thank the manager and coaching staff enough for the faith that they have shown in me in recent weeks. I am absolutely delighted to still be involved.”
Loaned out to Brechin City last season, Matty started 13 matches for the Hedgemen but after his return in January he made just two appearances for Dunfermline and this season had played only 18 minutes during three Premier Sports Cup appearances before he got his chance against Morton:-
“It has felt like a long time coming. I have felt that I have been fit and ready for when the time has come and I’m sure that I have grasped that opportunity at the moment. I will hopefully keep doing what I have been doing and stay in the team.”
In every one of his seven league starts Matty has been subbed and 15 of his 38 Pars appearances have been as a substitute. Naturally players rarely want to be taken off in games but Matty views that with maturity belying his years:-
“I am disappointed to be taken off, obviously I’d love to have stayed on and helped the boys win the game, on Friday night. There are times in matches where the manager sees something and he thinks ‘right we will take him off and get more attacking power on the pitch’. I totally respect his decision and what he is doing and fully agree with him putting on more attacking players.”
Matty has attacking capabilities but when asked to nominate a preferred position he chose not to rule himself out of anything:-
“Firstly I’m a footballer, I can play anywhere and will play anywhere the manager wants me to play. I’m happy to do whatever he asks and I will go on the pitch and do it.”
The former Dunfermline High School pupil wants to stay level headed, keep himself ground and not getting too carried away with being in the team and scoring against Morton. He is especially proud to pull on the shirt for his hometown team and commits to working hard in hope that the rewards will come from that.
While Matty admits to having had nerves before kick off in the Morton match he has those well under control now that he has more starts under his belt. Obviously scoring against Morton was brilliant and he couldn’t have been happier. Controlling the nerves and emotions does not come as easy to Matty’s parents Mark and Fiona:-
“My mum and dad come to most games that I am involved in, my mates are sitting in the stand so it is just good to be involved.
Mark Todd played rugby for Dunfermline High School, for Scottish Schools, Dunfermline Rugby Club and also at representative level with North & Midlands. He possibly handled that better than watching his boy play for the Pars:-
“My parents said after the Morton game that they were sitting in the stand biting their nails, all nervous - they need to relax a wee bit. My dad thought that he lost his glasses celebrating my goal but he didn’t even take them to the game!”
Matty Todd also spoke to Jordan Burt for ParsTV
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