CALLUM SMITH may be rooting for a Pars win this weekend but admits he is grateful to the boss of their opponents.

The 18-year-old is currently embarking on a second loan spell in League One, having teamed up with former Athletic manager Dick Campbell’s Arbroath in August, after spending a temporary stint at Alloa in the second half of last term.

Having burst into Dunfermline’s first team last summer, the Scotland under-19 striker went on to play 16 times for Jim Goodwin’s Wasps as they clinched promotion to the Championship with a play-off final victory over Dumbarton.

Smith has gone on to make six appearances for the Lichties so far this season and, although he suffered a fracture in his hand during their win at Stranraer on Saturday, is hopeful of being given the green light to play with a cast.

The Pars youth product believes that playing regular, competitive football is ideal for his development and said he has taken plenty from his stints at both the Indodrill and Gayfield.

Of his time with the League One leaders, Smith told Press Sport: “I’m really enjoying it, especially because the boys are flying; we’re top of the league and seven points clear, so it’s a great team to be at.

“Dick and Pink (Ian Campbell), and all the staff there are brilliant to work with. They always say there’s a time to work and a time to play, so they know when to be serious, but they just make everything so fun and I just love it.

“It’s just a different game, playing against more physical boys, and it’s something I need in my game. The reserve league’s great and it’s good for boys, but being on loan has just got that competitiveness that I need right now.

“Alloa was a great team to be at as well, especially because we got promoted as well. At Arbroath, in terms of game time and where I’m playing on the pitch, I’m probably enjoying it more but, don’t get me wrong, I still loved Alloa.

“Jim Goodwin was always brilliant with me, always talking to me and trying to improve my game. When I wasn’t playing, he would tell me why I wasn’t playing, and that’s what I like. I like to know why I’m not playing, and how I’m going to be able to play.

“He’s a great manager to play under.”

Smith is unsurprised that Alloa, who have drawn at East End in the league, and knocked the Pars out of the Irn-Bru Cup on penalties already this season, have made life difficult for opponents so far.

However, he believes that his parent club – who have the option of recalling him in January – can start to find a winning formula, and continued: “They’re a hard team to play. They make it hard for teams to play against them and, even though we have more of the ball and more chances, they’ll keep digging in. Fair play to them, they’ve done it really well so far this season.

“We’re just going through one of those spells just now where we’re making the chances but we just can’t seem to score them. I’ve been watching the highlights and, on those, we’re always the better team but can’t put them away.

“We will get over that spell. We’ve got a great squad; results aren’t going our way just now and it always happens in football, where if you’re not scoring the goals you’re not going to do well.

“But I feel we’ve got the squad to do it and we’ll pick up some wins in the next few games.”

When asked whether he could be back before the season’s end, he added: “We’ll have to wait and see nearer the time but I’m out there to try and impress the manager.”