With the departure of Andy Geggan, 21 year old Lewis Martin is now the Pars' longest-serving first team squad member, having made his debut for the club 5 days after his 17th birthday, in April 2013. Part of a group of players who saw first-team action after the senior squad was decimated due to administration, Lewis has now made 103 appearances for DAFC. In his teenage years, he was a remarkably mature figure in the Pars defence, showing composure beyond his years. Rarely booked (receiving just 5 yellow cards in his first 76 appearances, and no red cards), the step up to Championship football in 2016/17 saw him, coincidentally or not, pick up 5 bookings plus 3 red cards in 27 games. His previous appearances - with the exception of his debut, which was a late substitute appearance in the Championship/First Division season of 2012/13 - were as a League 1 player.
Lewis' Pars career stats:
Called up to the Scotland Under 19 squad on 3 occasions, Lewis is arguably the most adaptable defender at the club. In Allan Johnston's first season in charge, although never cementing a place of his own in the team, he made 33 appearances covering mainly for others - the long-term injuries to Callum Fordyce and Ryan Williamson giving him the chance to show his versatility in both full back roles and in central defence. Significantly, he was not regarded as a first choice centre-half, which is the position he has said he prefers. Ben Richards-Everton, Fordyce (pre-injury) and then Marc McAusland and Brad McKay were all played ahead of him in the middle of the defence, with most of Lewis' games coming as a full back. However, his performance levels remained well above average, and he was rewarded with a new 2 year contract in the summer of 2016.
The progression to second-tier football has been more difficult for the player than many might have predicted. Three sendings off, for his tendency to put his hands on opponents in the penalty box, or haul down the opposing team's striker when through on goal, indicate a previously-unseen flaw in his game. In total, he received more cards (yellow and red) in one season than in his previous 4 seasons combined.
While a useful member of the DAFC squad, Lewis himself could benefit from a loan spell with regular first team football, as opposed to another season spent covering injured or suspended Pars team mates who would otherwise have been selected ahead of him.
2017/18 will be an important season for Lewis. He is a decent young player, with a good character, and if he can regain the "no fuss" aspect of his game, his time at EEP could yet continue beyond May 2018.