''Is that the way I want us to play? Absolutely not'' - Stevie Crawford: one of the many encouraging comments to come out of last night's meeting at East End Park, which featured Ross McArthur, Stevie Crawford and Greg Shields, speaking openly and answering questions from the fans who attended. The style of play last season was a major issue for many, not least the management team. What was made abundantly clear was that there were serious issues with the squad, in terms of attitude. Obviously, nothing was specified, no names mentioned. However, the chairman and manager both made it clear, more than once, how big a barrier they faced in basically persuading several players to do their jobs, show pride and apply themselves.
''We will never again sign a player who thinks he's doing Dunfermline Athletic a favour by being here'' - Ross McArthur. The chairman spoke of the need to form a squad that the fans align with. We will not win every week and success can never be guaranteed. But as the chairman said, we need a team on the park that the supporters feel proud of. The 2019/20 squad will be younger - hungry and ambitious were other words used to describe the type of player and the type of person we are looking to recruit. The manager also hopes to add 2 or 3 older players with leadership qualities, although he admitted that type of player is not easy to find. Stevie Crawford recalled the example Ian Ferguson set at Dunfermline and it was made clear that we are interested in bringing a similar character to guide and motivate the younger players - and show a good example.
''Heart and desire'' - Greg Shields emphasised those qualities as key to what he and Stevie Crawford are trying to bring to the club. Shields had prepared a very impressive presentation, focused on the young reserve players, some of whom will hopefully be the future of the club. The former fullback is a very likeable and impressive figure, speaking with real passion about his job and his plans for the reserves, and their progress into the first team.
''Every day when I get out of bed, all I want to do is make Dunfermline Athletic better'' - Stevie Crawford. The manager stated that the attitude shown in games including the defeats by Ayr United and Queen of the South in the final quarter of the season would not be tolerated. Players who don't show the correct attitude (that word again) will not be welcome at East End Park. The manager put his hand to his heart while speaking about how much he had learned from players and coaches throughout his own playing career and how important it is that players give their all. He was livid with what he was watching in many of our matches towards the end of the season.
For a full report on the meeting, which included many other subjects other than those I have covered here, the official DAFC site will have the complete minutes online over the next few days. There were live updates from Lorna Morton on dafc.net which you can read here; and Ben's review on Instagram: please click here.