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In focus: Stevie Crawford

2 December 2016 takes a look at the playing and coaching career of the Club’s newest assistant manager, Stevie Crawford...

Stephen ‘Stevie’ Crawford was born in Dunfermline and began his playing career with Raith Rovers, with whom he made his senior debut.

During his time in Kirkcaldy, the striker helped the Rovers win the 2014 Scottish League Cup – Raith won 4-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in which Crawford scored.

It was while with Raith Rovers that Crawford earned his first call-up to the Scottish national team. His debut came in a Kirin Cup victory over Ecuador – the then-21-year-old scored in a 2-1 success.

In the summer of 1996, he moved south of the border to join Millwall in the then Second Divsion. Crawford spent one season at the Den, netting 12 goals in 44 games including a goal on his debut and a pair of braces.

The Scotland international returned home in 1997, signing for Hibernian. He scored 24 goals in 82 games between his move and May 2000 when he left to join hometown club Dunfermline – Crawford had also spent two loan spells with Dunfermline, during which time he netted 16 times in just 25 appearances.

In his first season as a permanent fixture with the Fife side, Crawford finished as the team’s top goalscorer. He also returned to the international scene, appearing in Scotland’s 1-1 draw with Poland in April 2001.

The following campaign his goalscoring form continued,  finding the net a total of 22 times for the Pars and three times for his country, including a brace in a 3-1 win over Canada.

Crawford scored a further 17 goals in the 2003/04 season to help Dunfermline reach the Scottish Cup final, as well as a fourth-place finish in the Scottish Premiership.

At the start of the 2004/05 season, he joined Plymouth Argyle with whom he played 27 games, scoring seven goals. However, he returned to Scotland with Dundee United in January, earning himself another Scottish Cup runners-up medal with the Tangerines.

He started the following season a Dundee United player but signed for Aberdeen at the end of the month. The forward found the net 10 times for the Dons before returning to Dunfermline in August 2006.

Crawford spent two seasons back at East End Park ahead of a move to Scottish League One side East Fife in July 2008. He scored four goals in 24 games for the Fifers before taking on the role of caretaker manager for the final month of the season, following David Baikie’s departure.

The then-34-year-old impressed during his time in charge and was given the job on a permanent basis in the summer, after picking up four points in his final four matches.

As player-manager he led the Methil club to a mid-table finish in 2009/10 and he continued at the helm the following season until stepping down from the management side of the role in October 2010.

Crawford left East Fife in January 2011 and enjoyed spells at Cowdenbeath, Forfar and Brechin during his final months as a player.

He finished his playing days having scored 177 goals in 695 appearances.

Crawford returned to coaching in October 2011 to become Steven Pressley’s assistant manager at Falkirk.

In his first two seasons in Stirlingshire, Crawford helped guide the Bairns to back-to-back  third-place finishes in Scottish League One.

After the reconstruction of the Scottish leagues in 2013, Falkirk found themselves in the Scottish Championship and Crawford again played his role in a third-placed finish, working alongside Pressley and, from March, Gary Holt.

That summer, Crawford joined his former colleague at East Fife, Robbie Neilson, at Heart of Midlothian and the pair went on to achieve promotion from the Scottish Championship in their first season together.

That success was followed by a third-place standing in the Scottish Premiership last season and the pair leave Tynecastle Stadium with the team currently sitting second behind title-favourites Celtic.

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