Yesterday's signing of veteran midfielder Willo Flood brought back memories of some of the immediate reactions to the past signings of Craig Brewster, Ian Ferguson and Martin Hardie. As with the three above-mentioned players, who all had undoubted quality but were doubted by many due to their age when signing for the Pars, Flood's signing led to a predictably mixed reaction. However, I can only see positives in having such an experienced player join what is a relatively young squad. Age is no longer the barrier that it was decades ago, with players (generally) being fitter in the modern era and working with specialised fitness coaches and sports scientists at clubs. Added to that, no one can doubt Flood's professionalism and determination. He is coming to Dunfermline to win and to extend his playing career by at least one further season, having only being offered a coaching role with previous club Dundee United at the end of his playing contract last month.
Certain players, including Flood, can be disliked by opposition fans who might, secretly, wish that the player was playing for rather than against them. Flood's often dour demeanour and a reputation as a hard-to-please, highly-driven and demanding character make him hard to love unless he is playing for your team. After experiencing multiple games against Dundee United over the past two seasons, with Flood bossing the midfield, we can now enjoy having a player who was a nemesis now become one of the leaders in our team: Flood has a big game mentality and brings high standards and 15 years of experience with him, having played for teams including Manchester City, Celtic, Aberdeen and Dundee United, where he spent two periods on loan and a further two spells as a signed player.
Allan Johnston is to be congratulated on addressing the Dunfermline midfield issues that blighted so much of last season, until the January transfer window. With Tom Beadling, Joe Thomson, James Craigen and now the experienced Willo Flood all competing for central midfield places, we have an encouraging mix of youth, athleticism, skill, mobility and now with the addition of Flood, a real leader, a dying breed in the Scottish game. He will demand much from his team mates and will be an asset on and off the park over the next 12 months.
Here is Ben's new Pars Roundup video, in which he gives his opinion on the signing of Willo Flood.
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