Dunfermline Athletic

Scott Banks on his move north

Wednesday, 27th Jan 2021

Swapping training at Palace with the likes of Jairo Riedewald, Wilfrid Zaha, James McArthur and James McCarthy for men’s football in the Championship

Crystal Palace youngster Scott Banks made the loan move to Dunfermline on Monday although he revealed that he had been aware of the Pars interest for sometime:-

“The gaffer wanted me to come here and I was so eager to come. It worked, and I’m delighted. You forget sometimes that anyone can be watching any game.”

Scott first caught Stevie Crawford’s eye in a play off match in May 2019 when Scott was on loan at Clyde. He continued:-

“It’s comforting to know that people are watching and monitoring, and now that I’m here the gaffer likes the way I play and what I can bring to the team. It feels good.”

Scott joined Palace from Dundee United in January 2020 and the plan to get him game time in the Scottish Championship with a loan back to Alloa Athletic lasted for only four matches (playing alongside Kevin O’Hara) before covid halted the season. Crystal Palace shared Scott’s wish to go out on loan again this season

“I just wanted the opportunity to play some football back at a men’s level, which is something I really enjoyed in the past. If the gaffer is going to give me an opportunity to go and express myself in a way that I might not be able to do at another club, then obviously the attraction is going to be to come here. Here I can hopefully perform the best for the team.”

The nineteen year old midfielder admitted that this season has been frustrating yet enjoyable in London. His game time has been eleven starts for the Palace Under 23s in the Premier League 2 but he has been training with the first team squad which the youngster from Linlithgow described as mind-blowing at times:-

“It’s enjoyable, to say the least. The 23s are great as well but the first-team players are players you grow up watching and hearing about, and it’s very strange to be rubbing shoulders with these guys.

Palace have two players in James McArthur and James McCarthy who came through the youth system at Hamilton before attracting interest from south of the border and subsequent big money moves to Palace. Clearly they have been useful mentors:-

“Yes, massively. They proved what they can do up here and got their moves down there. Both of them are great, great guys, talking me through things and easing me into the group. They’ve both been excellent. They’re two top guys, to say the least.

Jairo Riedewald and Wilfrid Zaha are another two there who have gained great admiration from Scott who added:-

“I like to think I’m quite quick but when Zaha gets going I don’t think there’s anybody as quick with the ball at their feet. It’s not really a competition, me and him yet.

“Jairo Riedewald has been at Ajax and technically he’s unbelievable. Trying to match him in training is a challenge. You just can’t get the ball off him. It’s something I think I’ve got in my game but he’s on a different level.

“There’s loads of examples throughout that whole squad but the motivation you get training with them is something else. Obviously I’m striving to play in that team at the end of the day and watching them and seeing what they can do shows the challenge I’ve got to get to that level.”

Scott feels that his Palace debut is “there or there abouts”:-

“Obviously I think I’m ready to go into the first team whenever I can, but I don’t think that’s maybe the view down there as of yet. I’ve got loads I can work on in terms of my physicality and size, and the Championship is a physical league, so that’s something I can do here.

The message from the Selhurst Park side was very much to just go and make an impact in games:-

“They want me to be enjoying my football and my age and to show people what I can do. But they want me to really affect the games as much as I can and show them why I’m coming from a team like Palace.”

In the under-23s Scott has come up against tough opponents like Aston Villa, Leeds, Newcastle, Fulham and Wolves and he felt that his own 23s group were an excellent team:-

“We started to win games and put in good performances before I moved. That 23s league is good. We played Stoke away and they had a few first-team players in, so there was Shawcross and guys like that. So, you do get the opportunity to play against players of those levels.

“At the same time the games aren’t as competitive as they are in, for example, the Scottish Championship, which is why I’ve been wanting to come here and play. I enjoy playing for the 23s and I’ve put in a lot of good performances, but ultimately I want to be playing men’s football as much as I can and that’s what this move is allowing me to do.”

His arrival at Dunfermline comes at a timely stage in the season which makes it a real attractive move that excites Scott:-

“I had a taste of promotion from League Two with Clyde and it was such an unbelievable experience. If I could so something like that again at a higher level, what a feeling that would be. It’s exciting coming here, challenging for the league and trying to win promotion, playing against some real good teams. .”

Scott was only ten years of age when Dunfermline last played a league match at Tynecastle but he is optimistic he can play some part on Saturday when the Pars come up against the league leaders. He said:-

“It’s a big game coming up on Saturday and all I can do is train as well as I can and feel comfortable in the group, and then hopefully the gaffer puts his trust in me. If I’m not in that starting eleven I’ll make sure that when I do come on I can make an impact in the game and hopefully come away with a win.”

His performance at Tynecastle for Dundee United against Hearts in the Betfred Cup in July 2019 was one that proved to be an important stage for him:-

“I think that’s one of the games that actually got me my move to Palace. I thoroughly enjoyed that game and scoring a penalty there. There were a lot of fans at that game and the atmosphere was good. We miss that now but it will still be a good experience going there and one that I’m looking forward to.

“You see a lot of players making the step-up into first-team football at the moment because there isn’t that added pressure. But it’s something I really enjoyed. Whenever I play in front of a crowd, I think I thrive off it.

“So, it’s a little disappointing that won’t be the case but obviously there’s no complaints because it’s all about people’s safety and the fact we can still have football is a real bonus.”

Scott Banks Signing Interview

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