Scott Robertson has thanked Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon for going the extra mile to seal his signature.
The former Scotland international had been training with the Kirkcaldy side since leaving Romanian outift FC Botosani last month but, with Rovers’ transfer budget spent, a deal looked unlikely.
But following a recent corporate event at Stark’s Park, McKinnon managed to source funding from local business Kingdom Homes, allowing Robertson to sign a contract until the end of the season.
“The manager has been great,” said Robertson, who made his debut from the bench in the 2-1 win over Morton on Saturday.
“He explained to me when I came in that there wouldn’t really be funds available.
“But he’s gone above and beyond to seek money from somewhere to get me on board, and I really appreciate that.
“Everybody else in Scotland said the same thing but he’s gone ahead and managed to convince the board and other people that I’m worth bringing in, and I’m grateful for that.”
Robertson left Hibs at the end of last season to pursue a career in Romania but his time at Botosani ended quickly, after just four substitute appearances.
“There were a lot of factors that led me to the decision to come home,” he said.
“I can’t really go into them all – it’s quite a long story – but family was the big one.
“It was the big decision behind coming to Raith as well, because I can spend every day with my wife and my three boys again.”
Robertson has a wealth of experience of top-flight football in Scotland from spells with Dundee, Dundee United and more recently at Easter Road, but he admits he currently feels rusty after a period of inaction.
“You never feel great when you come back after such a long time out,” he said.
“My last full competitive game was for Hibs last season – I made couple of sub appearances in Romania – but nothing like the week in, week out first team action that gets you to the level you want to be.
“I hope to get some game time with the under 20s over the next couple of weeks and then be pushing for a starting place in the coming fixtures.
“I just want to be playing regularly and getting back to my best. I certainly didn’t feel like that on Saturday but the main thing is the team managed to get the three points, and hopefully I’ll be able to contribute more in the coming games.”
Robertson came off the bench in the 75th minute on Saturday to help Rovers claim victory over Morton.
“It felt like I was on for longer than that!” Robertson said.
“It wasn’t a classic but the boys managed to get the three points, which is the main thing.”