Enjoy the freedom

Paul Willis is back for East Fife - and can't wait to get a new season started.
Paul Willis is back for East Fife - and can't wait to get a new season started.

Paul Willis says East Fife’s players will be allowed to flourish under manager Darren Young.

Young is a man Willis knows well, having played under him at Albion Rovers and alongside him at Dunfermline Athletic.

And the midfielder knows the Fifers can look forward to being allowed to play with a freedom when the new season kicks off this weekend.

East Fife have now completed their pre-season campaign, having played St Mirren, Spartans and Stirling Albion

“The one thing about him is that he lets you go and play and express yourself,” said Willis.

“He’ll never not encourage you to go and have a go and wants attacking football.

“You maybe never saw much of that against Spartans (Fife beaten 1-0), but it’s something which will come for the start of the season.”

It’s been a peculiar summer for Willis who is now in his second spell at Bayview.

He was snapped up quickly at the end of last season by then boss Barry Smith before he left for Raith Rovers.

That left the club without a boss until Willis’s former manager took the helm.

“It was strange but that’s football for you,” he said. “Luckily I’ve worked under the gaffer for the past couple of years and know him from my time at Dunfermline as well.”

Willis was once a regular starter for the Methil men and is raring to get started again in his return to the club.

Given his form for Albion Rovers last season there were plenty of clubs looking to grab his signature, but the pull of Bayview was too strong, he admitted.

“I had a couple of offers which I had to weigh up,” said Willis.

“I spoke to Barry Smith who then left but things worked out quite well for me with Darren getting the job.

“There was only one club I was going to come back to and that was East Fife.”

And now it’s all systems go for East Fife with a trip to Peterhead on Saturday starting the competitive business for a new season.

Willis added“The lads are all looking really fit.

“Training has been really good and things have been sharp.

“It’s just a case now of continuing that for the League Cup when it starts.”