‘Exciting’ Raith signing worth waiting for

New Raith goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert in action for Hamilton last season. Pic: Neil Doig
New Raith goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert in action for Hamilton last season. Pic: Neil Doig
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Raith Rovers snapped up a promotion-winning goalkeeper this week and promised another ‘exciting’ new signing is on his way.

Kevin Cuthbert has moved to Stark’s Park following his penalty shoot-out heroics for Hamilton in the recent play-off win that saw Hibs relegated.

Joining the 31-year-old at the club will be another unnamed player who has agreed to sign a contract with the Kirkcaldy outfit once he returns from holiday next week.

Eric Drysdale, Raith’s chief executive, refused to confirm the signing while the paperwork remains incomplete.

“You can never be 100 per cent certain until the piece of paper is signed,” he said.

“However, the deal has been agreed and the player will sign the contract once he returns from holiday.

“We feel it’s an exciting signing because he’s a player who played against us last season and impressed everyone who saw him. He will bring something to the team that we didn’t have last season.

“Supporters will be keen to know who it is, but if it’s a case of waiting another week, then it’s worth the wait.”

Manager Grant Murray has also contacted his Dundee counterpart, Paul Hartley, to enquire about a season-long loan for Ryan Conroy, who has been deemed surplus to requirements at Dens Park.

Murray views left winger Conroy (27), who scored seven goals in the Dark Blues title-winning campaign last term, as an ideal replacement for the departed Joe Cardle.

The Raith boss is currently on holiday abroad but will hope to tie up the deal once he returns early next week.

Cuthbert, meanwhile, joins fellow ‘keepers Ross Laidlaw and David McGurn at Stark’s Park and assistnat manager Paul Smith explained why it was necessary to have three goalies in place for the start of the new season.

“Ross has recently had an operation after carrying an injury since February and Davie has been out for a while with his achilles,” he said.

“We’re not 100 per sure where they will be come the start of the season so we didn’t want to gamble and end up scrambling to get a ‘keeper in at the last minute.

“It will be a real test for Davie to see where he is with his achilles and we don’t want to put pressure on him to come back too early.

“If it’s September or October, then so be it, so it was important we had another experienced goalkeeper there and Kevin ticks all the boxes.

“He played a big part in getting Hamilton promoted, not just in the play-offs but over the whole season. His experience will be great for the club, plus he’s a very good professional.”

Rovers are still looking to add ‘four or five’ players to the squad, including Greig Spence and Grant Anderson, who have yet to agree new contracts.

“We are well down the line with two or three players now; it’s just a case of trying to get things over the line,” Smith added.

Meanwhile, the summer transformation of the club off the pitch continued this week with the launch of two new community projects.

The Roary Club - a new supporters club for young fans - is up and running while plans to create a Raith Rovers Community Foundation are also under way.

Drysdale explained that reaching a more secure financial position has allowed the club to pursue such ventures.

“You could argue that we should’ve done all this years ago but all the time I’ve been involved - and that’s 15 years now - we’ve been fighting fires in one way, shape or form,” he said.

“The fires are out and we’re now able to concentrate more on building for the future.

“The focus is on building the fan base and the football infrastructure, and making improvements to the stadium.

“It’s all about trying to get a new generation of supporters hooked for life. We’re trying hard and it’s all going in right direction.”

Rovers also confirmed an additional friendly this week.

The club will face Lowland League side Edinburgh City at Meadowbank on Wednesday, July 9, at 7.30 p.m.

The players return to pre-season training at Michael Woods Sports Centre in Glenrothes on Saturday, July 21.