Raith Rovers first team coach Kevin Cuthbert says he is “delighted” to sign a new one year contract with the club.
The former ‘keeper was forced to retire in February through injury but remained in his role as part of Barry Smith’s coaching staff and, with his contract expiring, has committed to the club for the 2018/19 season as the Kirkcaldy side look to win promotion from League One.
The 35-year-old told the Press that announcing his early retiral was a “relief”.
“It was difficult in getting round to announcing it,” he said, “it was something that had been going on for a while,” he said.
“We had been putting it off and when we did get around it, it was a relief if I’m being honest.
“I knew I couldn’t do what I had been doing and I would never be able to do it again. I made my peace with that quite quickly.
“I’d been out for about a year at that point, so I was alright with it. I had other things to focus on and I quickly moved on.
“It’s a part of my life that’s gone but I appreciate every player, manager or coach that I’ve worked with. Every team that I’ve been at I enjoyed and I always tried my best and I look back on my playing career with pride.
“But it’s past, I’ve moved on and I’m looking forward to the future.
“I love football. I love being at a club and I love going to games. I hope that the best years are still to come – I always believe that.
“I’ll always try to do the best I can. I’ve spent 20 years dedicating myself to the game and I’m still looking forward.”
Having announced his retirement Cuthbert says he was determined to stay in the game.
“I met with Barry and we had a chat about how the set up was going to be and how we would go about doing it.
“We started off well in terms of our relationship and with Craig Easton and Scott Robertson I thought we had a really good coaching set up.
“We all worked together really well and helped each other. We’d all ask each other questions, whether that was about a part of game, or training, or a player – all we talked about was football.
“We are all very similar and all worked hard and wanted to do well.
“Obviously the aim was to get promoted. So when that didn’t happen I had a chat with Barry at the end of the season and he said the plans were still in place for me to be here and be his assistant.
“I’m delighted that it’s worked out that way.”
The departure of Craig Easton, and with Scott Robertson’s future still undecided, Cuthbert expects his role to change slightly.
“I’ll be part of the same sort of set up in training,” he said, “the younger lads will probably be incorporated a bit more now that Craig’s gone and Scott is still to decide.
“I’ll pick up the reins a bit with Craig not being there and I’m more than looking forward to taking up that responsibility and progressing myself.
“I enjoyed last year. It was definitely a learning curve but I said to Barry all I want to do is learn and try and get better.”
The blow of spending another year in League One is still lingering at Stark’s Park, but Cuthbert says the club now needs to move on.
“The disappointment is still there, but we need to forget about it and start afresh.
“We’ll have a lot of new boys coming in and they’ll not be wanting to hear about that last game against Alloa. You learn from it, move on and progress.
“We need to go back to what we were doing which is working hard, being organised and winning games.”
Cuthbert says that he is relishing the challenge.
“I like coming in, working hard and pushing myself to be a better version of myself every day,” he said.
“Hopefully that passes on to players, helps them to progress and helps to get results for the team.
“I’m looking forward to it.”