Raith a good fit for Frenchman living in Kirkcaldy

Joel Thomas has signed for Raith Rovers.
Joel Thomas has signed for Raith Rovers.

Joel Thomas inclusion in the Raith Rovers squad at Ibrox on Tuesday night may have come as a surprise, but the Frenchman is no stranger to the club, or the town.

The 28-year-old former Hamilton striker has been training with Ray McKinnon’s men since January, and is currently living in the Lang Toun with his Kirkcaldy fiancee, Jennifer, whom he met while living in Glasgow.

The couple also have a daughter, Olivia, who goes to school locally.

Thomas, who started his career with Bordeaux, had three spells at Accies between 2008 and 2010, which came either side of a £225,000 move to Colchester United.

He has since been plying his trade across Europe with spells in Greece with Ionikos, and Romania with Dinamo Bucharest, before returning to Scotland to recover from surgery.

He has been without a club since making a single appearance for CA Bastia in France at the beginning of the season but after battling back from injury, he signed for Raith on Tuesday.

Speaking after making his debut from the bench against Rangers the same night, Thomas told the Press: “I’ve been training with Raith for a wee while.

“Even yesterday (Monday) I stil couldn’t imagine I was going to play here at Ibrox.

“Personally I want to do well, and to show myself back in Scotland.”

He views his move to Raith as a good fit, both in his personal and professional life.

“My fiancee and I have been together for seven years, and we’ve went everywhere together, but it’s nice for her to be here because she is from Kirkcaldy,” he said.

“I met her when she was at the University of Glasgow. Our daughter also goes to school here as well, so it’s a good fit.

“Most important, I’ve still got something to do in my career, and that’s why I signed.

“Some people were wondering why I’ve not been playing, but I’ve been badly injured.

“Unforunately that’s the life of a footballer - injuries and operations.

“The most important thing is to come back - and I feel I’m better than I was. I’m feeling 100 per cent, and ready to get back to business.”

After his half hour appearance at Ibrox, Thomas is now looking forward to getting back on the pitch and helping Raith’s push for the play-offs.

“I want to do something for the team and have a good experience together,” he said.

“The play-off is the objective and once you get there everything is possible - it’s exciting.

“Half an hour against Rangers was good for my fitness.

“I’ll take that with me to be ready for Saturday and hope for a win.”