Craig Barr may be Raith Rovers first new arrival this summer, but he won’t be a new face to those in the dressing room.
The 27-year-old is a close friend of several members of last season’s squad and is looking forward to joining up with the team for pre-season after signing from Airdrie last week.
“It always helps moving to a new club when you know some of the players,” Barr told the Press.
“Walking into a new dressing room when you don’t know anyone can be difficult, although you’re normally all mates within a couple of months.
“There’s a lot of boys at Raith that I’ve known a long time, not just from Livingston but going right back to the boys club days with some of the Edinburgh boys.
“I trust these boys 100 per cent and that can only help on a Saturday.”
Barr was contacted by Rovers manager Grant Murray immediately after the final game of the season.
It was a case of second time lucky for the Raith boss after he failed in an attempt to sign the defender last summer.
“We spoke briefly 12 months ago after I left Livingston but I ended up going to Sweden to try something new,” Barr revealed.
“This time around I was definitely interested because I felt I needed to get back into the Championship with the teams that are going to be in the league next season.
“I really enjoyed my time at Airdrie but it was always going to be a short-term thing after coming back from Sweden.
“I’ve got ambitions to play in America and been close a few times, but as soon as Raith showed an interest, I was delighted to sign.”
Barr revealed he was in the Raith end at Easter Road last month as the Kirkcaldy side lifted the Ramsdens Cup.
“One of my friends at Raith got me a ticket but I’m a Rangers fan, so it was a bit of a catch 22 for me,” he said.
“I actually wanted Raith to win, to be honest, and I was delighted for the boys and manager that they did.
“It was a big day for the club and a great high for the lads - hopefully we can carry that on into next season.
“Raith is a good club to be at right now.”
Barr has played most of his career at centre-half but was used by Airdrie in a central midfield position last season.
“I don’t know what the manager has in mind for me, but he said it’s good that I can play different positions because that helps in a smaller squad,” he said.
“I will play whever he asks me to play and do it to the best of my ability.
“I’ve played mostly centre-half, and I had a spell at right back, but I think I maybe surprised a few people, and myself, playing in the middle at Airdrie.
“I felt comfortable in there and enjoyed it. Airdrie were on a great run and the confidence rubbed off on me.
“I don’t know exactly what my best position is - some would argue it’s centre-back - but I’m just happy to play.”
Barr is looking forward to getting his teeth into next season’s Championship that will include Rangers, Hearts, and possibly Hibs.
“I’ve played in this league for six or seven seasons and this is the strongest it’s ever been,” he said.
“I welcome the challenge and relish the games. You want to test yourself as a player,a nd it can only make you a better playing against the best teams at the best stadiums.”