East Fife return wasn’t a tough decision to make for Chris Duggan

When the call came from manager Darren Young about re-joining his East Fife side, striker Chris Duggan admitted his decision was a “no-brainer”.
Chris Duggan is back for East Fife.Chris Duggan is back for East Fife.
Chris Duggan is back for East Fife.

Duggan took to the field for the first time since making his return to Bayview at the weekend in the 1-1 draw with Dundee United.

He was straight into the thick of things, putting pressure on Liam Smith which forced his mistake for the opener, before then going close with an angled drive of his own.

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It was the type of quality Methil supporters are still familiar with.

After joining pre-season slightly later than some others in the squad, Duggan said it was good to take to the field again against some decent opposition in United.

He said: “It was good to get a test against them because they had a lot of first team players.

“Our team is looking good.

“It’s still early in the pre-season so you’re still getting to know they boys.

“But the signs were there that we’re a decent side.”

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Duggan was one of Gary Naysmith’s signings while he was boss, bringing the striker in from Partick Thistle.

He spent most of his time at Thistle farmed out on loan to Queen’s Park, coming up against East Fife on league duty.

After an injury hit opening to his life in Fife, Duggan eventually hit the goal trail before leaving for Kingdom rivals Raith Rovers and into the full-time ranks.

Again, though, he didn’t play as much football as he would have hoped for during an injury hit 2018/19 at Stark’s Park.

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But the striker has hit the ground running since joining up with the Bayview squad, a few of them still there from his first time at the club.

“I’ve been back since last Tuesday and have trained Thursday as well,” said Duggan.

“It’s been good.

“We have a great bunch of lads and there’s been a good tempo to training.

“It was good to then get the win against Albion Rovers.

“The team is different from when I was here, there’s maybe only a handful of boys who were at the club.

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“Craig Watson, Pat Slattery, Kevin Smith, but I know pretty much all of them from playing with them at some point or playing against them.

“There’s a mix of experience and young boys in the team and hopefully it can make the year a good one.

“All the signs are there for us.”

Duggan’s departure to Stark’s was a blow at the time, but East Fife didn’t let it dent their on-field progress.

Decent runs on the Irn-Bru and Scottish cups were matched with the club building on their previous season’s points tally.

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New signings like Duggan, Ryan Wallace, Chris Higgins and Stewart Murdoch would improve any League One side.

Knowing the club, seeing it improve and enjoying his football previously at Bayview, all convinced Duggan to return.

He added: “Last year the team had the highest points total in a while and the boys that have been added have made the team stronger.

“The move back came about towards the end of last season, but then I was in New York, so by the time we got the paper work done it was another week or two.

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“After I sat down at the end of the season and worked out what my options were it was a no-brainer.

“There were other clubs but there were a few things personally and football wise that made me come to the decision that I’d return to East Fife.”