The number of ex-Kilmarnock players who worked under Allan Johnston at Rugby Park and are now working with him at Dunfermline rose to 3 this week when Aaron Splaine joined the Pars on a 1 year deal. The 20 year old midfielder has been out of senior football for a year but showed enough early promise for Johnston to add him to the 2017/18 DAFC squad. Clearly the manager has great belief in the player, as the club have stated that the first team squad will be tighter on numbers this year, so every player will be expected to contribute.
Spanish-born Aaron Splaine grew up in Ayrshire and signed a youth contract with Queen of the South at the age of 13, in 2008. Allan Johnston would first have become aware of Aaron when he joined Queens in 2010 as a player, before becoming manager at Palmerston in 2012. When Johnston moved to Kilmarnock as manager in 2013, he signed Aaron to his first professional contract. After Johnston left Kilmarnock, Aaron made his first team debut and went onto make 8 appearances for the club in the Premiership.
While on holiday in the summer of 2016, Aaron broke a bone in his right foot and as a result was without a club for the majority of last season. He played for the Stranraer Under 20s to regain fitness and also had trials with Leeds United and Burnley. One game he featured in was the Leeds United Under 23s match at Shamrock in February (team sheet below).
Aaron is a left-footed central midfielder and could fit into a 4-4-2 or 3-5-2 formation. There will be an article on the blog on Monday looking at possible formations for the coming season.
Pars Review partner, The Dunfermline Way Instagram page, posted this image on Thursday, using Tweets about Aaron during his time at Kilmarnock. Hopefully he can show the same form with Dunfermline and become an important player in the season ahead.
Above image by www.instagram.com/thedunfermlineway/