Dunfermline Athletic

Sponsorship evening a success at East End Park

Author: Jason Barber Date: Wednesday, 18th May 2005

An excellent turn out from the playing and coaching staff saw Jim Leishman make his first appearance since being confirmed as the new manager of The Pars!

A packed Kingdom Suite at East End Park was the venue as sponsors came along to receive their signed tops from players. DAFC.net had sponsored a strip of Noel Hunt, Aaron Labonte and new signing Lee Makel during 2004/05 season.

Robin Ozog (catering manager at East End) was given the task of opening the event and asked questions of both Derek Stillie and Craig Robertson:

Pars` hero goalkeeper from Sunday was asked about his personal highs and lows of the season about to come to a close.

Derek replied that the "low point was obviously the European games. Being 2-0 so early over in Iceland was a particularly low point"

However, the high point was more recent "Tannadice on Sunday past!"

Stillie agreed that the change over the last two games was incredible. "The players let Davie Hay & the others down. We could only really go one way after that, and it was up. Motivitation has been a huge factor over the last fortnight and we had previously underachieved. The organisation and tactics have been first class since the new team took over"

Asked about the support in the Dundee and Dundee United games, Derek replied "I came out to warm up at Tannadice at 2:15 and I knew even then that something was happening. The dressing rooms overlook the main street there, we looked out the windows and all we could see was black and white everywhere! During the silence, we could hear the fans outside shouting "we want in" and we all knew it was going to be an incredible support, and it was"

Derek finished up by confirming he has been studying a law degree for the past four years now. "I`ve got to try and keep a similar wage coming in once the football finishes!"

Craig Robertson, captain back in the 1996 Tannadice game, was then asked a few questions.

How did Sunday compare to THAT game in 96?

Robbo replied "It was certainly a similar support, in terms of numbers and noise. We only had 10 men to win the game back then though, these guys had 11!"

"The effort from the players was the same, time of the goal was really the major difference after scoring so early back in 96"

Was the support like the proverbial extra man?

Robertson replied "The support in those last 10 minutes was greatly appreciated. The players were tired and the boost given by the noise in the closing stages really did help the players cross the finishing line"

Next up on the agenda was the presentation of the home, away and European tops to the individuals and companies who had sponsored them during the campaign. DAFC.net received signed tops from Noel Hunt, Aaron Labonte and Lee Makel.

Jim Leishman had a prior engagement in Dunfermline that he kept, but arrived soon after. A huge cheer went up as he was introduced to the crowd. Leish spoke passionately about his new position.

"There is now a new generation of both fans and players since I last had the job. I would thank you all for your support to the club, we really do need and appreciate it. Hopefully we can get even more along next season"

"I`m proud of all Dunfermline fans, and the clubs such as DASC and Lothian 68 who are here tonight. The Centenary Club are having their 20th anniversary this year which is a great achievement in itself."

"There are good times ahead for this club. Sean Murdoch, an international keeper, has just signed a contract and we are speaking to Ian Campbell and Gary Mason next week."

"In the past, there have been far too many negatives. It`s time now to focus on the positives, pull together and take the club forward. It`s great to see so many young fans at games, they are the future of DAFC and we need them more than ever"

"I don`t have a contract, so if things don`t work out, then someone else will be able to take over the reigns. Thanks very much folks, I`m very proud to take this job and I will give it my very best shot."

With that, Leish and the players stood for photographs and were happy to answer any questions that were put to them.

The new Pars tops for next season were unveiled to applause. The home top returns to black and white stripes (hurrah!) and the away top is all black, with red trim.

All in all, a well attended evening. Thanks to the players and coaches for coming along to show their appreciation.



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