BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
JOE Cardle has set his sights on helping Dunfermline to return to the Premiership after penning a new two-year deal with the League One champions.
The popular 29-year-old’s agreement hands manager Allan Johnston a massive boost in his bid to keep together the squad that clinched the title and promotion back to the Championship in style last month.
Also signing new 12-month contract extensions on a busy Friday for the club were full-back Jason Talbot and defender Ben Richards-Everton.
Cardle was this week named on the short-list for the PFA Scotland player of the year award for League One, along with team-mate Faissal El Bakhtaoui, and has proved instrumental in this season’s success.
However, having dropped down two divisions last summer to rejoin the Fifers after an unhappy spell with Ross County in the top-flight, the former Port Vale, Airdrie United and Raith Rovers winger has set the club new and ambitious goals after committing his future to the East End Park outfit.
He said: “The discussions have been going on for a couple of weeks but I’m delighted it’s all signed now and we’ve come to an agreement.
“I’m looking forward to next season in the Championship now.
“My aim this season was to get the club back to where it should be and we’re half-way there after winning promotion.
“I’ve now got another two years to try and get Dunfermline back into the Premiership.
“I’m sure the rest of the boys will follow on. These negotiations take time but hopefully we can keep the team together after we did so well this season.”
Cardle, Talbot and Richards-Everton join Michael Paton, David Hopkirk, Ryan Williamson, Lewis Martin, Sean Murdoch and Cammy Gill in penning new deals with Dunfermline in recent days.