BY IAIN COLLIN – Capital City Press
Marc McAusland has revealed how manager Allan Johnston and coach John Potter combined to convince him to become Dunfermline’s latest high-profile signing.
The 27-year-old has penned a contract for the remainder of the season after the Pars’ defensive crisis ensured their rearguard required bolstering still further.
With skipper Callum Fordyce and full-back Ryan Williamson both sidelined with broken legs and recent recruit Shaun Rooney and Jason Talbot struggling with injuries, McAusland has answered the call to beef up the Fifers’ defensive options in time for today’s visit of Airdrie.
The commanding centre-half was a team-mate of Potter’s at St Mirren and also briefly crossed paths with Johnston at Queen of the South, and insists he is relishing the prospect of now working under both at East End Park.
He said: “They were looking for somebody with experience and it was a good opportunity at a big club. I needed to get games and that is what turned my decision to come to Dunfermline.
“I have worked with John Potter and the gaffer before and got on very well with them. I am now looking forward to playing here.
“I played with John. He was my captain at St Mirren and in the changing room he was great fun. I loved working with him and it was him who contacted me first about it.
“When he heard that I was interested to find out more the gaffer phoned me. Between the two of them they persuaded me to come.
“When I was younger I went to Queen of the South for a season to get games and play. But when Danny Lennon came in as manager at St Mirren he wanted me back.
“When I was at Queen of the South, Allan Johnston arrived but that was the season I left for St Mirren. I was only with him for a few weeks during pre-season. He still had great ability and went on to become a manager.
“I have met him a few times now outside football and I get on really well with him, so I knew that I would enjoy working under him.”
McAusland spent seven years with hometown team St Mirren over two spells but left by mutual consent in April and expressed a desire to try something different and possibly play abroad.
However, with no suitable move transpiring, the former Scotland under-21 defender – who has played all but one season of his career in the Scottish top-flight – joined the likes of Joe Cardle, Mickael Antoine-Curier and Ryhs McCabe in dropping down the divisions to join the Pars.
He added to www.dafc.co.uk: “I have played a lot of games at the top level in Scotland and hopefully that will show. Apart from Jason Talbot I know the back four is young so hopefully they can learn from me and we can do well together.
“I know that I have been at different clubs in pre-season but it is just about getting back into that routine. Training every day for Saturday.
“That is what I have missed so I am glad to get the deal done and I am looking forward to Saturday.
“I know that the boys here like to play a bit and the manager encourages it. That was a positive for me coming here. The size of the park and the standard of the pitch means that we will be able to play football.
“Hopefully it will be a good decision and I will enjoy my time.”