Wedderburn: I want to win my first league medal at Raith

New Bayview - Methil -  Fife - 'Raith v Dunfermline  - Nat Wedderburn - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency
New Bayview - Methil - Fife - 'Raith v Dunfermline - Nat Wedderburn - 'credit- Fife Photo Agency

Nat Wedderburn is targeting the first league medal of his career after joining Raith Rovers.

The powerful midfielder was released by Dunfermline Athletic last month and after a brief spell training with Arbroath, he was invited for a chat with Raith boss Barry Smith last week.

Following a week of pre-season with the League One title hopefuls, which included an appearance as a trialist in a closed-doors friendly win over Partick Thistle on Saturday, Wedderburn has signed a one-year contract, with the option of another year should promotion be achieved.

“The manager made it clear that we’re going for the league, and that’s something that appealed to me,.” Wedderburn told the Press.

“I want to come in and be a winner, and help get the club back into the Championship.

“I haven’t won a league medal before, so that gives me hunger to achieve it here. Ask any player, whatever competition you are in, you want to win it.”

As well as the desire to lift his maiden title, Wedderburn revealed that his family ties in Fife – he currently lives in Dunfermline with his wife and kids – played a part in turning down offers from elsewhere.

“I had interest from down south, but I had a long think about it and being with my family on a day-to-day basis is important to me,” he said.

“My wife is settled here, my daughter is happy in school, and if I was going down south, it would be on my own. “It made my decision a bit easier knowing that my family wanted me to be around.

“It’s ideal to find a club so close to home.”

Wedderburn was disappointed with the way his time at East End Park came to an end.

“I just got told a couple of days before we went back to pre-season that I was being released,” he said.

“These things happen in football and you’ve just got to get on with it.

“Over two years there I enjoyed it. I got off to a slow start with a few injuries, but once I got playing, and had a run of games, I thought I did well.

“I had a good relationship with the fans there, and hopefully I can have that here too because we’re going to need the fans throughout the season, not just me, but the whole team.”

Wedderburn started his career as an apprentice with English giants Stoke City and despite being unable to break into their first team, he won four caps with England U19s.

“Going to a few international camps and playing abroad was a good experience for me,” he recalled.

Wedderburn may not have realised him ambition of becoming a senior England international, however, he is cheering on Gareth Southgate’s team at the World Cup.

“This is the best opportunity that they are ever going to get to reach the final,” he added.

Following his release from the Potters in 2010, Wedderburn spent two seasons at Northampton Town, before moving to Corby Town for a year.

It was in the summer of 2013 that he made his move to Scotland, signing for Championship side Cowdenbeath, then managed by Raith legend Colin Cameron.

Wedderburn’s form over two campaigns at Central Park earned him a move to the Scottish Premiership where he played under John Hughes at Inverness.

However, he found his opportunities limited and after making just 10 league starts for the Highlanders, he returned to Fife to sign for Dunfermline in the summer of 2016.

Wedderburn became a first team regular at East End Park, making 67 appearances for the Championship side before his release.

The midfielder, who can also play defence, becomes Barry Smith’s fifth new arrival at Stark’s Park this summer.

“I’m more a defensive midfielder who sits in front of the back four and tries to help the defence,” he said.

“But I’m not just a physical-type player, I like to get on the ball and play as well.

“I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve that can come out now and then if required!”