BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
New club captain Callum Fordyce admits Dunfermline are desperate to kick-off the new Allan Johnston regime with a bang against Arbroath this afternoon (Saturday).
The Pars travel to Gayfield for today’s Petrofac Training Cup clash with a new management team in the dugout and a host of fresh faces on the pitch as they bid to piece together a cup run and, ultimately, earn the promotion that has eluded them in the last two seasons.
Fordyce is one of those new recruits, having joined from Livingston in the close-season, and the defender has spoken of the honour of having been named skipper by Johnston ahead of a crucial campaign for the East End Park club.
And, after a satisfactory pre-season build-up, the 23-year-old hopes the Fifers can hit the ground running and set the tone for the coming year with a victory.
He said: “It’s good to finally get into the competitive games. That’s what you are always aiming for in pre-season and finally they are here.
“Pre-season isn’t usually a time footballers look forward to but it’s been enjoyable under the gaffer. Everyone’s worked hard to get ready and hopefully we can carry that through into the game.
“It’s a big game for the club and also for me, personally. It’s a massive honour to have been made captain of such a great club. I feel really privileged that the gaffer has made me captain of a club this size.
“I’ll just try and show a bit of leadership on the park and do my best to lead by example, but otherwise hopefully I can treat it like any other normal game.
“At the end of the day, you want to win every game you play in but it would be great to start the season with a win and build the confidence straight away.”
A division separates the two teams for today’s match, with Arbroath having failed to win promotion from League Two via the play-offs last season and Dunfermline not even winning a top-four slot in League One.
With the Pars’ board having put together a budget to keep the team full-time for at least another 12 months, the Fifers should progress.
However, although he is confident Johnston will get the best out of him and his team-mates, Fordyce is still wary of the threat posed by the Red Licthies.
He added: “It’s going to be a difficult game. Arbroath had a good season last season and have some good players.
“But we’ve had a good pre-season, we’re full-time – which has it’s benefits – and hopefully we can go through to the next round.
“The gaffer, (assistant) Sandy Clark and Potts (coach John Potter) are doing a terrific job. The gaffer gets over to you exactly what he wants you to do and makes sure you understand everything.
“We’ve made some really good signings and the boys are gelling well together, and hopefully we will show we are ready.”