BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport
DUNFERMLINE forward Kallum Higginbotham is relishing the prospect of today’s (Saturday’s) clash with Raith Rovers after confessing he never really understood the rivalry of his last ‘derby’ in Scottish football.
The 27-year-old first moved north of the border in 2010 and spent two years with Dunfermline’s fierce rivals Falkirk.
In four full-blooded encounters with the promotion-bound Pars, Higginbotham and his Bairns team-mates failed to register a single victory.
After briefly returning to English football, the Salford-born attacker has spent the last three seasons in the Premiership with Partick Thistle and Kilmarnock and is now thrilled to be on the other side of a derby divide with Dunfermline.
The summer signing told Capital City Press: “Saturday will be a fantastic occasion and I’m sure we’ll take a lot of fans through for the game.
“When I was at Falkirk we used to play Dunfermline and they call that a derby. It was always hostile.
“I never really quite understood why Falkirk against Dunfermline was classed as a derby. I think it was more hatred between the fans than anything else.
“When I was at Falkirk we were on the losing side because that was the year Dunfermline got promoted. They had a great squad and won the league, and rightly so.
“But this one you can see it’s a derby because the teams aren’t that far apart.
“I’m just looking forward to the occasion and hopefully we’ll come out with the three points we need.”
Higginbotham has settled in well to life at Dunfermline after being transfer-listed by Kilmarnock at the end of last season and has shown glimpses of the kind of incisive attacking play that has already made him a fans’ favourite – despite his history with Falkirk.
He added: “I’m not sure the Dunfermline fans remember me from my time at Falkirk, but I feel as if I’ve hit the ground running here with my performances and hopefully they appreciate that.
“I came here to play regularly and enjoy my football, and hopefully I can put performances in like I have been doing week-in, week-out, rather than in fits and starts.
“This is a massive game. It will be a fantastic atmosphere, and Raith are flying as well, so it’s got all the makings of a fantastic game.
“Hopefully, if we can go there and play the way we can, and don’t let the occasion get to us, then I’m sure we’ll come away with three points.”