Davo: I know what Raith title win would mean to my home town

Raith defender Iain Davidson. Credit- Fife Photo Agency
Raith defender Iain Davidson. Credit- Fife Photo Agency

Born and bred in Kirkcaldy, and wearing the strip of his home-town club, Iain Davidson is only too aware how much Saturday’s game means to the local community.

The 34-year-old defender is also the one of Raith Rovers’ longest serving players, having recently surpassed the 400 appearances mark in what is his 11th season at Stark’s Park.

‘Davo’ has already had the distinction of captaining the club to a league title back in 2008-2009 - an achievement he ranks as one of the proudest moments of his career.

But after experiencing the agony of relegation for the second time last year, he is desperate to play his part in taking the club back to the Championship at the first attempt.

Davidson said: “Throughout the season people have been coming up to me and saying, ‘get us back up Davo’.

“Being the local lad you bump into fans a lot more, so I know what it means, and what’s at stake to them.

“The rest of the players are more scattered around but we all know it’s massively important for the local people in Kirkcaldy and for the community to get back into the Championship.

“If the fans can get behind us, and try to be patient if we’ve not scored an early goal, hopefully, as a town, we can all celebrate together on Saturday night.”

Davidson is as surprised as anyone to find the destiny of the title back in Raith’s hands after slipping five points behind Ayr just two weeks ago.

However, back-to-back defeats for their title rivals, coupled with a pair of wins for the Kirkcaldy men, has flipped the situation back in Rovers favour.

“It was a very good weekend for us and the changing room was a lively place on Monday morning after the result from Alloa on Sunday,” Davidson revealed.

“We took care of our business at a very tricky venue against a Stranraer team that were on good run and had just beat Ayr the week before.

“Whatever happened on Sunday, happened, but it’s now back in our hands and, to be honest, it’s come as a bit of a shock.

“Now we need to take advantage on Saturday and make sure we take three points and get the job done, albeit we’ve got a very tricky game.”

Davidson will be going for his third league winners’ medal on Saturday, having also been part of the Dundee side that clinched the Championship title on the final day of the 2013-14 season.

His experience, alongside the likes of Scott Robertson, Jason Thomson and Liam Buchanan – who won the division last season with Livingston – will be crucial if Raith are to get over the line on Saturday.

“The experience boys have been speaking and it’s maybe up to us to try and keep the younger boys calm, who haven’t been in this situation before,” Davidson said.

“You just have to try and treat it as a normal week, and do what you would normally do.

“If any of the younger boys want advice that I can only try to help them, but once the game kicks off at three o’clock, you just have to play the game, not the occasion, and hopefully everything works out.”

Davidson is now eighth in the list of Raith’s all-time appearances, having recently surpassed Laurie Ellis, and should he remain at the club next season he could soon chase down Charlie Moody, who is seventh with 420 appearances.

“It’s something that I thought would probably never happen, and I’m sure I will look back one day and be proud of it,” he said.

“It’s been a decent career here and I’ve enjoyed it, but at this moment in time my only focus is on winning the league and getting over the finish line.

“I’m hoping I can add a third league title on Saturday and after that we’ll probably sit down and see what’s going to happen.”