East End Park work experience taleAuthor: Neil Davidson Date: Tuesday, 1st Jun 2004
Here is young Neil`s story of his time working behind the scenes at East End Park!
I arrived the Friday before i started working, so I could catch the game against Kilmarnock. Soon enough Monday came and I was up bright and early for being at East end for 9.30.
I arrived and went in the players entrance and was getting butterflies! Down the stairs i went and was impressed at how new and smart everything was. Hamish and Davie were at the bottom of the stairs in the players tunnel part. I knew Hamish from the phone calls leading up to me starting.
He introduced me to Davie and then went out on the pitch to get the balls for our first session. Then me and Davie went down to pitrevie park at the 5-aside pitches at vida. when i got there i met Malcolm and Craig who also done the coaching. We took primary 1-2s and because it was my first day i just stood back and watched Craig and Malcolm take the session.
Then we went up to the office at an industrial estate and saw how the money was counted and stored. We then went for lunch and met back at East end. We then had a session with the young pars. They were aged between 6 and 12 years old. This was done on the pitch at East End and was my first time on the actual pitch.
I didn`t really know what to expect I had played on astro turf pitches before and thought it would just be like them. That finished at about 2.30 then we went into the players lounge and relaxed with a game of table tennis. The next session was at 4 and that was primary 3-7`s. There was so many of this group that they were split up into primary 3-4 and 5-7s.
I went with the older group first. This session between 4 and 6 was on every night for the whole two weeks. The first 3days were the same set up with the same groups. On the wednesday I saw Jimmy Calderwood after the players got back from there little break before the cup game.
I went through to the players lounge to meet Davie and Nipper came in. As Nipper came from Aberdeen he knew the village that I stay in and we had a good chat about people and places he knew here.
The only difference to the day was that we had an all girls group in. There were only 5 girls turned up so we done some exercises and gave them a tour around the stadium through the changing rooms and boot room. Then we had the session at 4 till 6.
The whole set up was very impressive and the whole 2weeks went without a hitch. I loved every minute working there and would like to thank Hamish, Malcolm, Davie and Craig for making me feel so welcome. The second week was allot less work to do,as there were a considerably less amount of children attending.
As the days passed I was meeting more and more of the staff, all the players were very freindly especially Craig Brewster he was asking how things were going everytime I saw him. I breifly spoke with Sandy Clark, Jimmy Nicholl, Jim Leishman and people around the stadium at the ticket office the admin and security boxes.
Everyone was very freindly and seemed happy to be part of the team at the Pars. All the u19 players were there the whole 2weeks and they are a good bunch to speak to and may I say worked their socks off the whole time.
The second last day when we had the young kids on the pitch the first team came out to train. All the kids were sitting there saying their names when they came out but were all desperate for Stevie Crawford. When he came out they all cheered and shouted his name. Then later on he came across and said hi to a few of the kids.
Most of the players were really good with the kids they came over and spoke with them and encouraged them.
Lee Bullen spent a lot of time watching the kids shooting, maybe picking up a few hints on finishing. Soon enough the last day arrived and we had a fun session to finish with. The day passed quickly and as i left early to catch a train malcolm and Davie had all the kids shout bye to me which made me feel really good and that i had done a good enough job. I said my byes to everyone and will hopefully be going back in the summer to work again cant wait.