There’s no-Finn wrong with step down to Lowland League, insists Graham

Former Dunfermline youngster Finn Graham insists his move out of the SPFL structure isn’t a negative and he hopes it will in fact boost his development after a frustrating spell with the Red Lichties.

Graham only signed for the Angus club in the summer hut felt the time was right to terminate his contract early.

“They’ve got a great squad and management team there and that’s why I joined them initially. I knew they’d be up at the right end of the league and I knew I would have to right for a place – I’ve no problems with that, the guys there are proven and experienced; competition for places is always good. In the end, I didn’t play as much as I would’ve liked and I made the choice to leave.

I could have waited til January and joined another SPFL team: I need to be playing each week though and I needed to get to a club where I felt that’d happen more regularly. I had been debating about it in my head for a few weeks and then I spoke to the manager about it at Arbroath…to be fair to him, he was really understanding and never stood in my way. I had agreed a contract with the club and he could’ve insisted I stayed but he was kind enough to put my interests first, even though the squad there is carrying a few injuries right now. I can’t speak highly enough of him and his man-management.”

Graham, a local lad to Kelty Hearts, has only signed a short-term deal with the Lowland League side, but, he is open to a longer stay at New Central Park.

“My main aim was to play. As I’ve said, I could’ve waited until January and moved to an SPFL side then but I’d rather get game-time now and see how things progress. I’m coming to a team that is right on my doorstep, who’ve got great facilities and a lot of ambition. It ticks all the boxes for me. The manager wants us to aim high and that has impressed me already: the standard and intensity of training is really high and the competition is just as fierce as I’ve ever known it to be.

I know guys like Hubby [Stephen Husband] and Elliot Ford from spells with Dunfermline and Brechin so I’ve settled in easily; all the lads have been fantastic with me, to be fair – I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction to the group. The manager has been brilliant with me too and I feel I can learn a lot from him – how can’t I learn off someone who’s played in my position all his career for clubs like Rangers, Blackburn and Blackpool, as well as being capped by (and captaining) his country on numerous occasions over the years. It is a fantastic little setup here and I’ve really enjoyed my short time with the club so far.

Finn is still assessing all options before he confirms his next move.

“It was a hard match on Saturday but we got the job done and I played the full 90 minutes so I was delighted overall. It’ll be another tough task this weekend but we know this league won’t be easy; there’s a lot of good sides in this division and I know I’ll need to be at the top of my game if I want to keep my place.

I will see how things go: I’m just taking thongs day by day, week by week; game by game, right now, as I am still weighing up what to do next. I may have the chance to go senior again come the next Transfer Window but I may choose to remain here too. I am still evaluating my situation and I’ll continue to do so over the festive period. I’m loving my time with Kelty so far and I’m relishing the opportunity to potentially play matches regularly again. Once I’ve come to a decision, then I’ll speak with the club and re-negotiate my deal if it is going to be extended.”

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