BY IAIN COLLIN –[email protected]_sport
CONOR Brennan admits he is relieved Raith Rovers have rescued him from the football scrapheap after accusing Kilmarnock of reneging on their promise of a new deal this summer.
The Northern Ireland under-21 cap claims he was told back in March that, after two years with at Rugby Park, Killie wanted him to stay and even went to the length of agreeing fresh terms..
But, following the Ayrshire men’s play-off final against Falkirk to secure their Premiership status, the 22-year-old was instead stunned to be told he was being released.
The former Leicester City trainee insists the shock news left him in the lurch as he played catch-up in trying to find a new club.
But the Irishman is now desperate to make the most of the short-term deal he penned with Rovers last week to help ex-Killie gaffer Gary Locke out of a selection crisis between the sticks.
He said: “It was actually pretty strange when I left Kilmarnock.
“They offered me a contract in March and I had agreed terms and everything else.
“I was told to go in and sign it after the play-offs but, before I could do that, it was taken off the table for me.
“In my eyes, it wasn’t done very well but that’s football and you just need to move forward.
“If I had known in March, then it would have given me more time to get something sorted out in the summer.
“But we shook hands and I wish the club all the best this season.”
Brennan made a quick-fire debut for Raith in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with Dundee United after only getting clearance for his move hours before kick-off.
With both number one Kevin Cuthbert and on-loan Aberdeen goalie Aaron Lennox ruled out, Brennan will again be Rovers’ last line of defence away to Forfar Athletic on Saturday afternoon.
And the former Stranraer loan star is hoping the hard work his girlfriend, Heather Paterson, put him through this summer will pay off in the IRN-BRU Cup third round tie.
He added: “I had gone through a hard spell for a couple of months waiting on the phone ringing but it hadn’t.
“But, during that time, I had been keeping myself fit and in shape so that if it did ring I was ready to go.
“My partner is a personal trainer and she helped me keep ticking over in the summer – to be fair, she is in better shape than me!
“She put wee things together to help me keep fit and she kept me on my toes with my diet and other things like that.”