John Baird - I’m staying to win promotion with Raith Rovers

Raith Rovers striker John Baird. Pic: Michael Gillen
Raith Rovers striker John Baird. Pic: Michael Gillen

John Baird says it would be his dream to win promotion with Raith Rovers before emigrating to Australia.

The 34-year-old striker, who is on amateur terms, confirmed his intention to remain with the Kirkcaldy club until the end of the season after scoring in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Forfar.

Baird was recently voted into the Team of the Decade by Fife Free Press readers for his contribution during his first two spells, which included scoring the winner in the Ramsdens Cup final against final in 2014.

Now he hopes to write his name into a new decade by scoring the goals that take the club back to the Championship.

“I’m staying here until the end of the season, unless John (McGlynn) says he doesn’t want me,” he said. 

“I’m here as an amateur because I love the club. I know I left twice before, but I do genuinely have a lot of affection for Raith Rovers.

“If I can’t get a visa to go to Australia then I’ll play until nobody wants me, but if I do get it, and finish things off here with promotion, that would be the dream.”

Baird has had to bide his time during his third spell with the club after taking time to readjust from a stint playing second tier football in Australia.

Saturday’s goal was only his second in 16 appearances, five as substitute, but he feels he is now getting back to his best.

“When I first came back we did a running exercise – you know how the gaffer works –and I was blowing,” he said. “I’m not normally like that.

“We did the exact same run on Tuesday there and I was flying.

“I’m well back to what I was now, but I didn’t realise how slow the game was in Australia.

“I came back, was in and out of the team, and I hadn’t had a preseason, so it took me a bit of time, but now I feel I’m contributing the way I should be.

“I was frustrated because I’ve not come back here just to be a cheerleader. I want to win games and win the league.

“It’s only good if you’re contributing, and in the last few games before Saturday, although I never scored, I knew I was well in the games and showing what I was all about.

“I’ve not been worried about goals, I was more worried about getting myself up to speed, because I knew when I did I would start scoring.

“As long as the team is winning it doesn’t matter.”

Rovers now take a break from the League One title race this Saturday when the travel to Livingston in the Scottish Cup.Baird is not, however, viewing the match as a .

“It’s not a free hit – we want to win the game,” he said.

“Okay, there’s no pressure of the league, but we’re not going there to make up the numbers.

“We’re going there to try to win a game of football get into the next round of the cup.

“There’s guys in there who want to play in the Premier League so they’ve got a chance to prove it.”