Dunfermline: Crawford is new boss, McNamara hired as ‘consultant’

New 'Dunfermline head coach Stevie Crawford. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
New 'Dunfermline head coach Stevie Crawford. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Dunfermline chairman Ross McArthur is confident a promotion push is possible after moving swiftly to replace axed manager Allan Johnston with Stevie Crawford.

Crawford has been promoted from reserve manager to head coach and will assisted by former team-mate Greg Shields.

In an additional change to the structure of the football department at East End Park, another former Pars player, Jackie McNamara, the former Scotland and Celtic defender, will act as a consultant to the board.

Discussions are ongoing to appoint a further coach in the near future.

Crawford, 45, who scored 81 times in 261 appearances for his hometown club, returned to the Fifers in the summer to replace John Potter on the coaching staff and has impressed McArthur enough to be handed the reins following Johnston’s departure on Wednesday.

Shields, the 42-year-old former Dunfermline captain, flew back in yesterday from New York and returns to Scotland after a nine-year spell coaching in the United States.

McArthur is convinced it is a coaching team, who have been appointed on rolling contracts, that can help bring out the best in a squad he believes has under-achieved this season. They head into tomorrow’s encounter with Dundee United at Tannadice seventh in the table, but just four points adrift of a play-off spot.

“I am delighted to announce Stevie Crawford will be head coach,” McArthur said. “I have seen enough of Stevie, in terms of his desire, commitment, energy and enthusiasm and his organisation, as well as the values he holds as a person, and to me that is important. He is a Dunfermline boy and a supporter, he played here for many years and has a good pedigree as a coach.

“Greg has been in the United States for eight or nine years developing his coaching career, particularly with young players. He has helped them develop and get into the first-team and as a club that is something we have not done enough of.

“I spoke to him in the summer and then again [on Wednesday] and he needed no convincing. He has travelled through the night from New York, got off the plane and come straight here. To me, that is what being part of Dunfermline means to Greg.”

In a move that had been discussed prior to Johnston’s exit, McArthur has reached agreement with McNamara and his sports consultancy company, Consilium Sports, to provide the board with ongoing technical support.

The former Partick Thistle, Dundee United and York City manager will enjoy a wide-ranging brief at his old club.

McArthur added: “We have managed to obtain the services of Jackie McNamara and his sports consultancy company, who provide support to clubs. As a board, we intend to utilise Jackie and his extensive knowledge. It will help me, in terms of developing the football side of the business because that needs strengthened. He will look at how we do things, how we train, how we monitor players – Jackie will bring all that to the table.

“That is another fantastic addition and, again, he has a great connection. The three of them have been successful at this club and that’s something we want.”