Working with boss McGlynn clinched moved to Raith says keeper MacDonald

Scottish Cup winner Jamie MacDonald says teaming up with John McGlynn once again was a key factor in his decision to sign for Raith Rovers.
New Raith Rovers signing Jamie MacDonaldNew Raith Rovers signing Jamie MacDonald
New Raith Rovers signing Jamie MacDonald

The 34-year-old goalkeeper has agreed to a two-year deal with the Stark’s Park side and is looking forward to working with manager McGlynn – the pair first met at Hearts with whom MacDonald would go on to pick up a Scottish Cup winners medal in 2012.

Speaking to Raith TV he said: “I’ve known John for a long time now.

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“He was my first professional coach when I went to Hearts at 16 and worked with him for six or seven years there.

“That was a big pull for me in coming here.

“He’s someone I’ve always enjoyed working with, enjoying training and enjoying the way he plays football.

“I know that John likes to try and build from the back and get the team playing. That was a big draw for me because, first and foremost, you want to enjoy your football.”

As well as his time at Hearts where he broke into the first team in 2008, MacDonald also had spells between the posts at Queen of the South, Kilmarnock, Falkirk and Alloa in a career which has seen him play in four cup finals.

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He’s played in UEFA Cup ties at both Anfield and White Hart Lane, the latter seeing him saved a penalty from a young Tottenham debutant named Harry Kane.

MacDonald also picked up 10 caps for Scotland at U21 level and was called up to the full squad less than two years ago.

Despite his wealth of experience, MacDonald says he is arriving in Kirkcaldy still keen to learn.

“As a player you learn something new all the time,” he said, “you’re in different types of groups, working under different managers, so there’s always something new you can take from someone and I’m looking forward to finding out something new here with Raith Rovers.”

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Manager McGlynn says capturing MacDonald, who will battle for the gloves with David McGurn and Robbie Thomson, sends out a “statement” to the rest of the league.

“I think he’ll encourage other players to come to the club,” he said.

“We’re getting him at a good time. He’s played at the highest level, he won the Scottish Cup with Hearts and played in Europe for them against Spurs and Liverpool and played for Kilmarnock.

“It’s a real boost to get in someone of his calibre. He’s a top goalkeeper.

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“We want to work with three goalkeepers and I think Jamie’s signing makes us very strong in that department.

“There will be some competition there and I think that benefits. It’ll keep them on their toes”

MacDonald expects to make his debut playing behind closed doors, which he calls “a surreal environment”, and says he has sympathy for the club’s fans.

“It’s the fans that are missing out the most,” he says.

Football is nothing without the fans.”