Borderer Jack Hamilton looking forward to making debut for Raith Rovers against former club East Fife
The Coldingham 23-year-old has been sidelined by international clearance issues since signing up with the Kirkcaldy club at the end of May, missing out on pre-season friendlies against Linlithgow Rose and Montrose and their penalty shootout Fife Cup victory at Kelty Hearts on Saturday.
He’s confident he’ll be available for selection by manager Ian Murray for this coming Saturday’s friendly at East Fife, however, and says he can’t wait to get his first run-out for the Scottish Championship team.
“I’m back in full training now and I’m feeling all good,” said Hamilton.
“I should definitely be fine for Saturday, so that’s good.
“The boys were back in pre-season training on June 12 but there was a little bit of a delay for me with international clearance and stuff like that, but hopefully I can get some minutes on Saturday and I’m definitely excited to be making my debut.”
Hamilton’s delighted to be back in Scotland after a year on loan at then English League Two outfit Hartlepool United as they lost their fight to avoid relegation to the National League, saying: “It’s obviously good to be back up home and it’ll be good to be back at one of my old clubs and out there in front of their fans.”
He’s also pleased to have the security of a three-year contract with Raith after spending most of the last six years being loaned out by parent club Livingston to the likes of Penicuik Athletic, Berwick Rangers, Alloa Athletic, Queen of the South and Arbroath and is now hoping he can help his new employers make it up to the top flight to join Livi.
“I’m obviously just delighted to get a permanent move and get settled down again and hopefully get back to doing what I do – scoring goals – and get back to my best,” he said.
“I like to win the ball in the air, hold it up, get in the box, get my shots away, be physical and score goals. That’s what I’m all about, to be honest – trying to score as many goals as possible to help the team as much as I can.
“I spoke to a few people at the club – the gaffer obviously and John Potter – about their plans for the club going forward and the future they’ll bring and I was definitely taken by their prospects for the future.”
Closer to home, Hamilton says he’s been keeping tabs on a successor to another of his former clubs, Eyemouth United Amateurs, and was glad to see them crowned as Border Amateur Football Association C division champions after winning all 21 of their games last campaign.
“Every time I come home, I try to see them as they were always good with me and very supportive and that’s where I started off when I was young, at the juniors,” he said. “We keep in touch and it’s good to do that.”
Recalling his time on loan at this weekend’s opposition, East Fife, then in Scottish League One, in 2020, he said: “It was for the first half of the season that I went there and it was good for my development playing week in, week out there.
“I learnt a lot physically and tactically and I did all right. I scored a few goals and played every game. It was really good for me, I thought.”
Saturday’s match at Methil’s Bayview Stadium kicks off at 2pm.
Two further Fife derbies are set to follow as Raith host Dunfermline Athletic in the Viaplay Cup’s group stage the Saturday after, July 15, at 5.15pm and they’ll go up against Hill of Beath Hawthorn in the Fife Cup on a date yet to be fixed.