Queen of the South have confirmed they have signed Dunfermline defender Callum Fordyce on a one-year deal.
The Pars Club Captain, who spent two seasons at East End Park, leaves after only appearing 26 times for Allan Johnston’s men.
Speaking about his time in Fife, Callum said:
“I was on holiday at the time when I got the interest; I spoke to my dad and we played out what would be the best for me. We always knew Dunfermline were a big Club. Once I’d spoken to the Manager and saw his plans for the season, my mind was made up – we set out to win the league and achieve promotion. It might have been a league down but I saw it as one step back to take two forward.”
However, unfortunately for Fordyce, his season was cut short after an horrific injury against Ayr United, just 10 games into the new season.
“The pain was something I had never really experienced before. When I first looked down, all I saw was my ankle flapping about. I knew straight away I had done my ankle; I didn’t really know about my leg. Once I’d gotten into the ambulance and got to the hospital they knocked me out and fixed my ankle, as I had dislocated it, before telling me I had also broken my leg.”
The mental and physical challenges posed was a major hurdle for Fordyce to get over.
“Initially, the first thought in your head is “Is this my career over?”. As positive as you want to be to your family, and other people, when you are injured, it can be a lonely time and the rehab you go through is intense. You are in at nine o’clock in the morning and you’re hammering it til half two, three o’clock and that’s non-stop with your different exercises; with Dunfermline, we would do boxing training in the morning, for example. That was repetitive for six months, so mentally it can take its toll on you as some days you wake up and you just can’t be bothered but you do it to get back to where you want to be.”
After fighting back to fitness this term, the 24-year old only managed another 16 appearances for the newly promoted Championship side in a frustrating season for the defender.
“Obviously I wanted to play more games. The last two years at Livingston I played every game, barring one, each season through either injury or suspension. From playing every week to then playing 10 games for Dunfermline before getting injured, it kills you a bit because you lose momentum and fall out of love with the game. This year, I’ve been in and out the team. I played a number of consecutive games between November and January time, but, that’s the most disappointing thing – that I didn’t play as much games as I would have liked.”
Despite all the frustrations around Fordyce’s time at Dunfermline, in his interview with JordanBurtFootball.com, he wanted to take the opportunity to thank the Club and the Fans for their loyalty to him in his hour of need.
“Thanks very much for the time I was at the Club, they were great with me, especially the support they showed during my injury and the appreciation of the fans when I was coming back from injury – even walking around the side of the park saw them give me a standing ovation. It’s just wee things like that, that means a lot and it shows you aren’t out the picture with them. Some of the comments online were really nice so once again, thanks very much.”
The next chapter in Fordyce’s career is on the horizon now though, as he prepares to join Gary Naysmith’s side when pre-season resumes in just a few weeks time.
“I was in and spoke to the Gaffer [Allan Johnston – Dunfermline boss] and I expressed my feelings that I wanted to play as many games as I can. I had it made up in my mind that I was already wanting to go. But I wanted to see what was happening at Dunfermline – you can’t rule anything out. I want to play as many games as I can and get back enjoying it again, so as soon as Queens came round the corner, it was a no brainer – Queens are a big Club as well. They’ve got a great squad and hopefully I can do well there.”
The Pars finished just a few points ahead of the Doonhamers last season, but ‘Dycey’ is confident another play-off push is possible down Dumfries way, with a more positive outcome this time around.
“I spoke to Gary Naysmith, and his Assistant, Dougie [Anderson]; they were brand new, they were terrific with me. As soon as I spoke to them, I was sold right away. I can’t wait to get started: his aspirations for the Club, the way he wants to play football, the way he wants to train… it’s all things I like. His ambition and the way he wants to move forward, with the Club as a whole, I knew I wanted to be part of that and now I just can’t wait to get started.”
Callum now feels he is fully recovered from his injury and has no worries about moving over to an artificial surface on a more consistent basis.
“At Dunfermline, we’ve been training on astroturf since November time, it was never really an issue – you get used to it. The biggest change was if you were going from astroturf to grass. When I returned from injury, I played a few games on the astroturf for Dunfermline’s Under-20’s and it never caused any problems, so I don’t see it being an issue.”
Callum concluded by summing up his ambitions for the season ahead, both personally and collectively.
“My aim this season is to play as many games as I can, get back enjoying it and get Queen of the South as high up the table as we can. I thoroughly believe we can get to the play-offs this season, 100%. I just want to get my name out there again – I haven’t played many games over the past two seasons but that’s in the past now and I just want to kick on and do well.”