Dunfermline ace Declan McManus full of praise for promising strike-partner Callum Smith

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BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport

DUNFERMLINE star Declan McManus reckons teenage strike-partner Callum Smith is destined for a “big future” after a dazzling display against Hearts.

The 17-year-old, who came through the ranks of the Fife Elite Football Academy, was a stand-out against the Jambos on Saturday, tormenting a back-line which included Scotland international Christophe Berra.

He teed up McManus to make it 2-1 early in the second period after shrugging off the highly-rated John Souttar on the flank.

It was Smith’s first ever senior start and he ensured the absence of Nicky Clark – out for five weeks following ankle surgery – was not too keenly felt.

Pars boss Allan Johnston stated after the game that “there will be a lot of teams looking at him” if Smith continues to progress at his current rate, and McManus agrees that the secret is out about the youngster’s promise.

“Nicky is a big loss but I think Callum Smith showed that he has bags of potential,” lauded McManus.

“The game against Hearts was his first start and he was outstanding. He was up against international defenders and did not give them a minute of peace.

“For my goal, he did brilliantly on the flank and was really unselfish to play it across to me. He’s quick, strong, is a decent size and, importantly for a striker, he can finish when he gets an opportunity.

“We see him every day in training, but now the fans and everyone else watching can see that he has a big future.

“I enjoy playing in attack with him, I’m sure Nicky does as well, and if he keep performing like that then I’m sure he will get plenty more chances.”

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