'It was Hammer who forced Dundalk move': Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray says Kirkcaldy club did all they could to persuade Jamie Gullan to stay in Kirkcaldy

Jamie Gullan celebrates scoring the injury time penalty which sealed a 2-1 league win at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on December 2 (Pic Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)Jamie Gullan celebrates scoring the injury time penalty which sealed a 2-1 league win at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on December 2 (Pic Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)
Jamie Gullan celebrates scoring the injury time penalty which sealed a 2-1 league win at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on December 2 (Pic Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)
Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray has revealed that he and the club’s hierarchy did ‘everything they could’ to keep striker Jamie Gullan in Kirkcaldy.

The man nicknamed ‘Hammer’ (24), scored twice in 22 league and cup appearances for Raith this term, when he had limited first team opportunities, having previously netted eight times in 37 Rovers outings. With his Stark’s Park deal due to expire this summer, ex-Hibernian player Gullan joined League of Ireland Premier Division club Dundalk on January 26 for an undisclosed fee.

"Letting Jamie leave was tough on one side of it and on the other side it wasn't," Murray told the Fife Free Press. "I loved working with Hammer.

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"I think it was frustrating for Hammer because he was stop/start last season and it was a bit stop/start this season.

Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray (Pic by Dave Johnston)Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray (Pic by Dave Johnston)
Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray (Pic by Dave Johnston)

"And then he wasn't getting as much game time as he wanted.

"We made it very, very clear to Hammer: 'We don't want you to leave, we like working with you. It's a big four or five months for you in terms of your contract'.

"And at the end of the day, as I said to Hammer, I will never stop anybody from going to play football if that's what they want to do.

"And it was Hammer in the end who forced the move, not in a bad way.

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"He was very, very honest with us, as we were honest with him.

"But I just feel it was really appealing for him to go over to Dundalk and get games and I understand that, I really do.

"It gave him a bit more security. There's no doubt we've lost a good player, a good guy with a good attitude and I hope it goes really, really well for him. I'm sure it will.

"He's a good player but we just couldn't guarantee him game time and he wanted to play.”

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With the new League of Ireland Premier Division season due to start this weekend, Gullan’s first league fixture for his new employers could come in Dundalk’s opener at Shamrock Rovers on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.

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