Gary’s buzzing - New boy relishing Fife fixtures

Scott Durie meets a Craig Johnstone corner to open the scoring.
Scott Durie meets a Craig Johnstone corner to open the scoring.

Experienced defender Gary Naysmith says he’s excited by the thought of East Fife’s visit to Ibrox and Kingdom derbies against Dunfermline.

Naysmith was a shock signing by East Fife last week with chairman Lee Murray and club officials including Alex Hamilton pulling a few strings to bring in the former Scotland and Hearts star.

Gary Naysmith

Gary Naysmith

Naysmith strolled through his debut against Arbroath on Saturday and will now turn his attention towards East Fife’s visit to Rangers this weekend.

Speaking to the Mail after the Arbroath game, the left back said he’s looking forward to the short- term challenge at Bayview.

He said: “I’ve signed until the middle of January and I think two or three of those games are against Rangers, so that was a massive appeal.

“There are also good games to come against Dunfermline as well.

“When I spoke to other people like John Robertson and Billy Brown, they said most of the teams can beat each other in this league and it’s a case of whoever can beat each other on the day.

“So I’m looking forward to that.

“I liked that when I was down in England in the Championship and League One, where there were no real favourites and you didn’t know who was going to win.

“The top could beat the bottom.”

Naysmith says he’s been impressed with the Fifers but, despite having a full pre-season under his belt, admits he’s lacking a bit in match practice.

“I’m really enjoying it here,” he said.

“Everybody has been great with my family and I got a good reception from the fans.

“I’m a bit disappointed with my performance (against Arbroath) but I haven’t really played since April.

“I’m happy I got the 90 minutes and, in general, I’m really happy that I came.

“It took me maybe a week or so to make my mind up.

“I knew of the interest maybe 10 days ago but, in my mind, I wanted to make sure it was the right thing to do.

“It’s been so far, so good.”

The defender has played at a far higher level than the Scottish League One but says he was impressed with the standard.

He said: “I thought it was really good.

“I didn’t know much about Arbroath and didn’t know much about East Fife, but was pleasantly surprised.

“I’ve played with the boys on Thursday in training and I thought during the first half against Arbroath, we played some really good stuff.

“Credit to Arbroath, they kept going, and in the end it was an edge-of-your-seat game without there being too many chances.”

The defender has been linked with a possible move back to Tynecastle once Hearts’ transfer embargo has been lifted, but Naysmith says he’ll be keeping his options open.

He said: “Obviously I’ll have options in January, but I didn’t want to commit for the whole season (at East Fife) and think ‘I’m here and not enjoying it’.

“I’m still training with Hearts and here as well, and then playing on a Saturday.

“Hopefully down the line there will be a chance for me to do some coaching as well ,so that also appeals to me.

“The club couldn’t have done any more to get me here and I’m delighted that I’ve signed.”