New dad Brian joins Raith Rovers

craig wilson (l) tacles brian graham (r) greenock morton vs raith rovers  fc at cappielow 30th of October 2010
craig wilson (l) tacles brian graham (r) greenock morton vs raith rovers fc at cappielow 30th of October 2010

BRIAN Graham has endured sleepless nights since signing for Raith Rovers ... after becoming a dad for the first time.

The 23-year-old striker was officially announced as the Kirkcaldy club’s first summer signing this week, after he rejected the chance to stay at Morton in favour of a move to the Fife coast.

And while his new-born daughter may be keeping him awake at night, he can at least sleep safe in the knowledge that he has put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Stark’s Park.

Brian told SportsPress: “Morton offered me a one-year extension, but the two-year deal allows you to concentrate on your football all season, instead of worrying about your future from January onwards.

Sleepless nights

“I’ve recently become dad to a wee girl, Sophia, so there’s been a few sleepless nights, but the two-year security is exactly what you want when you’ve got a young family to look after. It was certainly a big part of the decision to come to Raith.

“My agent called me on the Friday before the end of the season to say Raith were interested, and by the Tuesday I had signed. It all happened pretty fast.

“I’ve had ups and downs at Morton, and it was hard to leave after six years, but I’m happy with the move I’ve made and looking forward to joining up with my new team mates.”

As well as providing him with the means to take care of his family, Brian also views his move to Raith as a chance to further his career.

“I just feel the time is right for a new challenge,” he said. “Raith were up there challenging for promotion and were unlucky not to go up in the end, whereas Morton haven’t hit those heights yet. I’m hoping Raith can do the same next season and push near the top.

“They’ve got a great manager in John McGlynn. He won Manager of the Year so I’m looking forward to working with him. Hopefully he can teach me things that other managers haven’t been able to.

“It’s always good to get a new perspective on things and I’m sure John will have ideas on how to improve my game.”

After topping the goal-scoring charts at Cappielow last season with 11 goals Brian hopes to make a similar impact at Stark’s Park.

“This season was the first time I’ve played a lot of games for Morton and I finished top scorer,” he said.

“I always like to set myself a target of 15 goals at the start of the season. I didn’t manage to reach that this year, but then I only started 18 games, so I was quite happy with 11.”

Familiar face

There will be at least one familiar face in Kirkcaldy – goalkeeper David McGurn was in the Morton first team when Brian was a YTS at Cappielow. But he has played against his new club enough times to know he is joining a hard-working side.

“You never get an easy game against Raith,” he said. “You can tell that they all work hard together as a group.

“They always get in your face, and play at a high tempo that can be hard to keep up with. They’ve got a good squad of players and I’m looking forward to being part of it.”