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Friday, 15 September, 2000, 23:11 GMT 00:11 UK
Four chase Pars' left spot
Jimmy Calderwood is looking to fill problem role
Jimmy Calderwood is looking to fill problem role
The battle to fill Dunfermline Athletic's troublesome left-hand side could become a four-pronged one following the arrival of Spanish defender Julian Palacios.

Left midfield has been a problem for manager Jimmy Calderwood since winger Stewart Petrie broke his leg last month.

However, Palacios has been given a 10-day trial in which to impress the Premier League club, while young Chris McGroarty is now close to returning to fitness and Steven Boyle and Jason Dair remain hopeful of establishing themselves as first-team regulars.

Explaining the chance given to Palacios, a 29-year-old veteran of nearly 200 games in the Prima Liga with Rayo Vallecano, manager Jimmy Calderwood said: "We are a little bit short on the left side with injuries to Stewart Petrie and Chris McGroarty, while Steven Boyle is still maybe a bit inexperienced to come in and play several consecutive games."


Palacios is available after his previous club, Merida, went out of business.

However, while the Spaniard is likely to figure in Tuesday's Under-21 game against Celtic at Livingston, McGroarty, who can also play full-back of midfield, has completed his first full training session for two weeks.

The 19-year-old had suffered a hamstring pull after returning from several months out wtih a groin injury.

Stewart Petrie has been badly missed
Stewart Petrie has been badly missed
Dair, who has been playing on the left of defence, has recovered from a knock he sustained against Hearts on Saturday and should be available for Monday's visit by league leaders Celtic for what will be Dunfermline's first airing on live TV this season.

One man definitely not to be seen in an Athletic strip is Dutch winger Ferdino Hernandez, formerly of PSV Eindhoven, whose trial period was completed without him being offered a contract.

Calderwood had high hopes, having seen Hernandez in action while coaching in Holland, but explained: "He wasn't quite the player he was when I last saw him."

Meanwhile, Moroccan international defender Youssef Rossi has started English lessons as he continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury that has delayed his debut for Dunfermline.

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