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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 May, 2003, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Hammers starlet joins Pars
Dunfermline manager Jimmy Calderwood
Jimmy Calderwood is looking south for new signings
Dunfermline Athletic have signed West Ham United's teenage striker, Billy Mehmet, on a two-year deal.

And he could be joined by other youngsters from top English clubs who believe a crack at the Scottish top flight would be a better education than languishing in the reserves down south.

Pars boss Jimmy Calderwood has already recruited midfielders Gary Mason from Manchester City, Gary Dempsey from Everton and Sean Kilgannon from Middlesbrough, plus defender David Grondin from Arsenal.

All four have established themselves as first-team regulars at East End Park and now Mehmet has been handed a similar chance.

The 19-year-old was youth captain at West Ham but found his path to the first-team blocked by the likes of Don Hutchison and Paolo Di Canio, who have been trying to dislodge Les Ferdinand, Frederic Kanoute and Jermain Defoe.

This is a way of getting a good quality of player in at the right age
Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston
Mehmet's arrival will increase the pressure on Scotland striker Stevie Crawford to sign a new deal, with chairman John Yorkston already having made it clear he could be sold on if he does not.

Midfielder Darren Young and his striker brother Derek are also set to join the Pars in the summer when their Aberdeen contracts expire.

And Calderwood and assistant Jimmy Nicholl have arranged trials for fringe players at a number of other Premiership clubs to try to win deals before the end of the season.

Yorkston said: "We have taken players who have not quite made it in the Premiership and they have already done well for us.

"We see this as a way of getting a good quality of player in at the right age.

"We have to have two under-21s on the bench and you can only play five senior players in the reserve league.

"We have had a number of players training with us over the last few weeks and have arranged for players from Middlesbrough, Newcastle and West Ham to come to us.

"The two Jimmys have good contacts and we hope to do something before the end of the season."

The Young brothers have already impressed Calderwood with their performances against the Pars over the past few seasons and a deal to sign them was imminent.

"Jimmy has admired the pair of them for a while. They didn't come as a package, it just so happened they were both available at the same time," said Yorkston.



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