BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
CALLUM Fordyce has been handed the perfect pick-me-up after he signed a new deal to stay at Dunfermline.
The Pars defender made his comeback at Easter Road on Saturday after a frustrating 11 months out with a broken leg and dislocated ankle sustained last September.
The former Livingston stopper turned in an assured display but a fresh-air swipe at Martin Boyle’s low cross just 12 minutes from time allowed Jason Cummings to seal a 2-1 victory for Hibs.
Fordyce had agreed in April a short-term contract that was due to expire at the end of this month to allow the Fifers to assess his recovery from his horrific injury and subsequent surgery.
However, after putting pen to paper on fresh terms lasting the rest of the campaign, the 24-year-old admitted the new agreement had been perfectly timed after the bitter disappointment of last weekend’s mistake.
He said: “It’s brilliant to sign a new deal. I signed for three months at the end of last season and the focus was always to get a new deal and to get back playing.
“I spoke to the gaffer this week and he said he was delighted with me and he wanted me to extend my contract.
“It was a massive pick-me-up for myself. All the hard work has paid off, I’ve come through all the dark times, and I’ve just got to look forward now.
“It’s always in the back of your mind that you’ve not got the safety of a contract there. I got married in the summer and I’ve got a house and you do start worrying.
“But I was always confident. I felt good, I felt fit and I spoke to the manager to tell him that. I got better as my games with the under-20s went on.
“It’s a massive weight off my shoulders now and I can go and relax and enjoy my football.”
Fordyce is still trying to fathom out his costly error against Hibs.
But, after so long on the sidelines, last season’s skipper is determined to latch on to the positives of his return.
He added: “I still don’t understand how their winning goal happened.
“I could do that another 100 times and it wouldn’t happen again but you’ve just got to bounce back from it.
“I’ve tried to look at the positives from the game. I came back from 11 months out and I felt I did really well throughout the game. Folk will look back and say ‘that’s what happened on his comeback’ but that’s football.
“It will always be in my mind but I’ve got to look at the bigger picture. It’s been a frustrating time for myself over the 11 months and to come back was a massive occasion.”
Manager Allan Johnston has praised Fordyce for battling back to fitness and was delighted to hand the powerful centre-half a new deal.
He said: “He deserves it. He’s worked incredibly hard to get to where he is. I thought he did really well last weekend and we were all gutted for him with the mistake he made.
“We were always hoping he was going to be 100 per cent fit but with the size of the squad we couldn’t risk it if he was going to be a doubt or out the majority of the season.
“But the physio is happy with him, he’s worked incredibly hard to get fit and he’s played six games now and managed training. He can’t do much more to prove his fitness.”
Meanwhile, Johnston insists he needs to see more of Slovakian striker Alan Kovac before deciding on a contract offer.
The 23-year-old Slovakian is on trial at East End Park and scored twice in a bounce game against Raith Rovers on Tuesday.
Johnston added: “We’ve got a boy in on trial and we have been talking to other players as well, but so far we aren’t any further forward, unfortunately.
“He scored a couple of goals against Raith Rovers in a bounce game, which was good for him, but we’ll probably need to see him a bit more.”