Stability is key for Cardle

Raith's Joe Cardle accelerates away from ICT skipper Richie Foran. Pic: George McLuskie

Raith's Joe Cardle accelerates away from ICT skipper Richie Foran. Pic: George McLuskie

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Joe Cardle has had a rollercoaster year off the pitch, now he’s looking forward to a season of stability with Raith Rovers.

The 26-year-old winger has enjoyed a whirlwind past few weeks in his personal life with an engagement to partner Lucy in Dubai followed by the news that the couple are expecting their first child.

Now the Englishman, who spent the final few months of last season at Raith after becoming a victim of Dunfermline Athletic’s plunge into administration, is eager to get his football career back on track at Stark’s Park.

“I’m just happy to be back playing regularly again,” Cardle told the Press.

“Last year was all up in the air with everything that went on so I’m just happy to be back enjoying my football again and looking forward to playing week in, week out.

“I can’t ask for much more than getting a regular spot in a good side and showing what I can do with the ball.

“There were other options this summer, but I just wanted to be stable. I had a few offers down south but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet.

“I’d rather be settled with everything else that’s going on with my family life.

“I’m happy at Raith, and we’ve got a great team in there, so who knows what can happen this season.

“We’ve just go to keep working hard and see where it takes us.”

Cardle was speaking after Saturday’s 2-2 friendly draw with Inverness - a performance that helped restore some confidence after the midweek 5-0 defeat to Hearts.

“After losing 5-0 in any game, even if it is pre-season, you have to pull it back in your next game, and the boys were brilliant,” he said.

“It was hot day out there but even towards the end the boys were still working really hard, and we feel we should have won the game.

“There’s competition for places, and you could see that everybody wants to be in the starting 11 for next week.”

Rovers first competitive match of the season is at home against Stirling Albion in the Ramsdens Cup this Saturday.

“It’s going to be a tough cup game because we know they’ll be up for it,” Cardle said. “We just have to be professionals and work as hard as we did against Inverness and let the football take care of itself.”