Dowie signs as trialists set to face Berwick
ANDY DOWIE has finally put pen to paper on a new deal as boss Jim Jefferies prepares to run the rule over trialists this weekend.
Jefferies has brought in former Aston Villa and Carlisle left back Stephen O'Halloran on trial as the Pars play their first friendly of the season this Saturday away to Berwick.
Irishman O'Halloran (24) was a youth player at Villa Park and enjoyed loan spells at Leeds and Swansea City before moving to Coventry City in 2010/11 and then on to Carlisle last season.
O'Halloran has represented his country at all levels ranging from under-15 to under-21 and in 2007 was voted Irish under-21 Player of the Year.
He could partner Dowie in defence this Saturday as the 29-year-old gets set to be one of the most experienced heads in the Pars' dressing room.
He made his 100th Dunfermline start in the final SPL game against Kilmarnock and was one of last season's out-of contract players earmarked by Jefferies as key to his plans.
Also in the frame for a run-out this weekend is ex-Blackpool and Livingston striker Stephen Husband.
Jefferies said, "Andy was one we targeted last year to come back. In the game on Saturday we will have two or three trialists.
"We have had Stephen O'Halloran over for a few days training while Stephen Husband might play although he has a cast on his arm at the moment so we will wait and see."
Jefferies is also preparing to scour the market for a new goalkeeper.
Paul Gallacher started training this week for the first time after six months out due to injury with only young Ryan Goodfellow as back up.
"We will have a couple of options to cover us for the next couple of games," Jefferies said.
"It will be up to them to prove if they are worth it for the long term.
"Paul's probably got a chance of playing in the Hearts friendly. It's not guaranteed but that's the target. If he doesn't then that would put us in a wee bit of a spot.
"Right now we're in the market for a goalkeeper but it all hinges on Paul. He is our number one choice.
"If Paul's fit then we'll bring in a goalie to back Paul up in case of injury and to put him under pressure.
"The other side of it is if Paul doesn't start then we need to get a goalkeeper good enough to play.
"Then it will be Paul who will have the job to compete with him. The quicker he gets fit the better for us all."
Jefferies has been reunited with former sidekick Billy Brown on a short-term basis that may become permanent if the Pars get in the SPL.
Told by Hibs that his contract would not be renewed, Brown has volunteered to help put the Pars through their pre-season paces, joined by former Rangers, Hearts and Scotland winger Neil McCann.
Jefferies joked, "His wife phoned me and said to get him out of the house as he would be like a bear with a sore head.
"He said he would be delighted to help out. Pre-season is a busy time with morning and afternoon sessions and the more bodies we have the better it is.
"If there was a situation where the club was in the SPL I'm sure the club would look at it differently and I'd have a case for him.
"As it stands he's just helping out and he understands that. He's not here to threaten or steal anybody's position.
"He's just doing it out of friendship."
This article appeared in Dunfermline Press 13 Jul 12