GREIG Spence can already claim to have scored one of the most important goals in Raith Rovers’ history despite only signing for the club last week.
It was his late equaliser for Alloa against Ayr United at Somerset Park back in May 2009 that ultimately settled the Second Division title race in Rovers’ favour.
The goal earned the striker, just 17 at the time, hero status among Raith fans, and he hopes that can continue now that he is a signed player.
“I’m definitely aware of what that goal meant to Raith,” Spence, now 20, told the Press.
“It helped them win the league, but it was just as important for Alloa because it meant we avoided relegation.
“None of the Raith players have mentioned it, but I know a lot of Raith fans and they always remind me about it. It was a good day for everyone!”
Shortly after scoring that goal Spence earned a dream move to Celtic, who paid Alloa a six-figure fee for his services.
After two years at Parkhead, which included a loan spell at Hamilton, Spence was released and has been on trial at Raith since the start of pre-season.
And after doing enough to impress new manager Grant Murray, the Fifer put pen to paper on a one-year contract last week.
“I’m over the moon,” Spence said. “I’ve been in training since the start of pre-season and I’ve loved every day.
“Last season my loan spell at Hamilton never worked out, and there were many reasons behind that.
“I just didn’t enjoy going in there every day, but the day-to-day side of things here is much more enjoyable.
“Things are a lot more professional, it’s run a lot better, and I get on with boys really well.”
Despite failing to make the grade at Celtic, Spence has not been left disappointed by his time at Parkhead.
“I had two good seasons there at youth level, and won the youth cup and league both seasons,” he said.
“I got a bad injury during that time, but it’s really hard to make the breakthrough at Celtic.
“I’m not the first one not to make it, but it still gives you that goal to try and get back to that level.
“It was a football education and I’m sure being at Celtic while I was young will benefit me in the long term.”
Spence turned down offers from other First Division clubs to join up with Raith, after his agent recommended he take part in John McGlynn’s renowned pre-season training programme.
And although McGlynn has since left for Hearts, Spence has been impressed with the new man at the helm.
“Grant has been brand new with me and I’ve really enjoyed working with him so far,” he said.
“You can tell he’s got great experience and I think he’ll do a really good job.
“All the boys respect him and want to work hard for him and that’s all you can ask.
“I’ll get my head down, work hard, and hopefully get myself in the team.
“I’ve got a lot to offer so hopefully I can get playing and show what I can do.”
Spence pulled out of Saturday’s friendly match against Dundee United after picking up an injury in the warm-up but he hopes to be fit for the club’s first competitive match in Wick this Saturday.
“It’s a long one, but we’ll just treat it like every other game,” he said.
“We want to go up there and start the season off well, so we’re really looking forward to it.
“I felt my groin tweak a wee bit in the warm-up to the Dundee United match, but it’s nothing too serious.
“I just didn’t want to play a pre-season game with it when the first competitive game is next week. It was just a precaution.”