RAITH Rovers may have missed out on promotion but top scorer John Baird is hoping he can still make it to the SPL next season.
The First Division Player of the Year dropped a bombshell at the end of Saturday’s match against Partick Thistle by declaring that he is seeking a move away from Stark’s Park.
Baird, who is under contract at Raith until the end of next season, would command a transfer fee, but at least one SPL club has already expressed an interest in purchasing the player.
And Baird told SportsPress: “I feel that I’ve done my duty in the lower leagues and worked my way up.
“I’ve had a good season this year, and proved I can score goals at this level.
“I would now like the opportunity to prove it at a higher level if the chance comes.
“I’m no different to anybody else. If anybody got a chance to go and further their career in any walk of life I think they would go and take it.
“Everybody is ambitious and I’m no different. It’s a short career and you want to play at the highest level possible.”
Club chairman Dave Somerville refused to name a price for Baird, simply stating: “We are reluctantly open to offers but they will have to reflect the fact that John is a key element of the club.”
Baird added: “Any transfer fee is out of my hands, that’s between clubs, but I would like the opportunity to play at a higher level if given the chance.”
The 13-goal forward was one of several players who appeared to say their goodbyes at the end of the 3-0 defeat at Firhill on Saturday.
“It was a disappointing way to end the season” he said. “I thought the first half was decent, but in the second half I think you could tell it was a team that was deflated by news of all the cuts that are coming.
“There’s boys out there playing and they don’t know if they’ve got a contract, which is disappointing considering the season we’ve had.
“It’s been excellent here this season – I’ve loved it.
“It’s a good bunch of boys but sadly most of those boys are not going to be here next season. We have to see what happens in pre-season.”
Rovers defeat on Saturday meant they eventually finished 10 points behind Dunfermline after a neck-and-neck title race, but Baird believes he and his team mates gave it their best shot.
“I think the fans appreciate that the team did as well as it could,” he said.
“There was nothing left in the tank. There is no hard luck story – that is as good as this squad of players could have produced. They gave absolutely everything.
“Dunfermline added a few players in January that dragged them over the line and we never had that. We’ve played with a small squad and it showed in the last quarter.
“Now the club’s talking about cuts, so the gaffer has a big job on his hands next year to try and emulate what we’ve done.”