BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Joel Thomas admits he has landed on his feet at Raith Rovers after a training stint unexpectedly turned into a short-term deal.
The former Hamilton Accies and Dinamo Bucharest striker began working out with the Stark’s Park club in January after returning to Scotland to be with girlfriend Jennifer in Kirkcaldy.
With her parents supporting Raith, the 28-year-old had even attended Rovers matches as a supporter.
And he was thrilled when a convenient bid for fitness ended with him penning a contract and making his debut against Rangers in Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat at Ibrox.
The Frenchman explained: “I started training with the club at the end of January. I wasn’t on trial, I was just training and then I had to go back to France.
“I then came back as my girlfriend Jennifer and I have a daughter together, so it is not the first time I have been in Kirkcaldy, I know it well.
“We had joked about me playing here a few times in the past – but now I am a Raith player.
“Jennifer doesn’t follow football too much but she supports the team as they are from her town. But her parents are big fans of the club so it is good.
“Things happened and I felt I wanted to play and be involved. So now I have signed a deal until the end of the season and I am delighted, for sure.”
Thomas will make his home debut against St Mirren this afternoon and is hopeful of making the kind of favourable impression countrymen Gregory Tade and Christian Nade have made in the past.
Both were fans’ favourites at Stark’s Park with their all-action style and commitment and Thomas wants to follow in their footsteps.
The former Ionikos and Bastia marksman added: “I played against Tade in Romania when he was at Cluj. He is a good player.
“I also know Christian Nade from when he was at Hearts during my first time in Scotland.
“They were popular with the fans so hopefully I can be as well.
“I think if I get the chances, then sure, I will get goals but the target is to get into the play-offs, definitely.”