Goals Galore In The First FriendliesDate: Wednesday, 29th Jun 2022
Well, what can we say... we don`t want to get too excited too quickly, but it has certainly been a very encouraging opening to James McPake`s reign as Dunfermline Athletic manager.
The Pars have now played 3 friendly matches – a bounce game against Hill of Beath Hawthorn, and two away matches to SPFL opponents. A 3-0 win over Hill of Beath wasn`t unexpected but will have been a good run-out for the players to get their legs and minds motoring again. They`ve not stalled yet however, with a 2-0 victory against higher-league opponents, Cove Rangers, in the Stuart McKenzie Testimonial match.
Then, earlier on this week, a 6-0 thumping of Forfar Athletic rounded off a good 7 days for the West Fife side.
The morale within the side must have been low following the relegation of the Football Club at the end of the 2021-2022 campaign and for those players who remained, a great deal of pressure and scrutiny will likely come their way as they try to make amends for last season`s failings this term. So, despite it only being pre-season, 3 wins in a row is a massive shot in the arm on our road to recovery.
Another massive plus point is seeing the strikers score – with only Craig Wighton not scoring during the two open door friendlies, however, it is believed he notched at least once against Hill of Beath. Particularly for Kevin O`Hara and Lewis McCann, who have now scored in consecutive matches, it bodes well for the season ahead if they can keep their good form going.
And with Nikolay Todorov netting against the Loons, the competition for places continues to be strong in front of goal.
And crucially, at the back, a hat-trick of clean-sheets can only help confidence throughout the whole team grow. Deniz Mehmet, a goalkeeper who struggled to hold down the #1 jersey last term, will be happy with his contribution so far, while Rhys Breen will be delighted to get regular game-time under his belt after a stop-start opening season at East End Park.
Kyle Benedictus has been given the Captain`s Armband early on – albeit Graham Dorrans has missed out all 3 matches due to an injury – and has shown his acquisition to be a shrewd one, while Chris Hamilton seems to be the key-man who can stop opponents attacks and begin our own with his simple but affective range of passing.
The youngsters have also contributed early on, with Miller Fenton among the goals at Forfar, while all other Academy Apprentices have enjoyed match minutes in the first-team so far this summer, with the exception of goalkeeper Callum Archibald.
McPake has made it clear that he enjoys developing youngsters and isn`t scared to put them in as and when required; this can only benefit the squad going forward long-term and the pros can already be seen in the limited time these guys have had on the park, with all of them thriving thanks to the freedom given to them by their new Gaffer.
With all of that said, here is dafc.net`s question for you;
What has been the most pleasing thing for you so far this pre-season?
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