Jon Daly: Why I turned down Hibs to sign for Raith Rovers

New Raith signing Jon Daly made his debut against Hamilton on Tuesday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
New Raith signing Jon Daly made his debut against Hamilton on Tuesday. Pic: Fife Photo Agency
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Jon Daly has revealed that he rejected a last minute approach from Hibernian to sign for Raith Rovers because he had already shaken hands on an agreement with Ray McKinnon.

The Raith manager arranged to meet the 32-year-old striker on Sunday afternoon and convinced the former Rangers and Dundee United hitman to join the Kirkcaldy club on a short-term deal until January.

Hibs then made an approach later in the evening – offering Daly significantly more money – but the Irishman explained he was already set on a move to Stark’s Park and turned the Edinburgh club down.

Daly confirmed: “I spoke to Ray on Sunday and agreed to come here, then I got a phonecall late Sunday night to say they (Hibs) were interested, but I’d already shaken Ray’s hand so I wasn’t going to go back on my word.

“I’d agreed to come here, and I’m delighted I have, because it’s an opportunity for me to come and play.

“A lot of my friends were probably saying you need to look after yourself, but the money didn’t come into it.

“It was all about just getting games and when I spoke to Ray I wanted to come play for him.

“He talks about the game really well, and you can see he has a passion for the game.

“I was impressed with how Raith have started the season as well and after being with the boys for the first couple of days they are a great bunch of lads.

“There’s a lot of young lads, so hopefully I can come in and help them develop and progress over the season.”

Daly made an instant impact as a second half substitute against Hamilton on Tuesday, helping turn the game as Raith dumped the Premiership side out of the League Cup.

“It’s always nice to come on and have an impact on the game and try to help the team,” he said. “It’s a massive victory to beat Hamilton who are flying high.

“It was a fantastic result and towards the end we showed great resilience and spirit to dig in and get into the next round.”

The big striker was just delighted to be back on the pitch after being frozen out of the first team picture at Rangers under interim manager Stuart McCall.

“It’s been a while coming,” Daly said. “I think March 17 was my last appearance.

“It was frustrating, especially towards the end of last season, when you’re fighting fit, training every day, the team isn’t firing, and you’re wanting to help, but not getting the opportunity.

“That’s football - you sometimes fall out of favour with managers. I’ve just worked hard, and been very fortunate to be able to train with Dundee United and keep my fitness up.

“It’s not the same when you haven’t got a game at the end of it, you can train all you want, and get as fit as you want, but match fitness and sharpness is totally different.

“Sometimes when you haven’t played for that long people can forget what you can do. You’re out the shop window.

“I was speaking to clubs in America but it was dragging on and on, so it’s an opportunity for me to come here and get games under my belt, then we can re-assess it in January.”

Raith travel to Easter Road to face Hibs on Saturday.