BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
KALLUM HIGGINBOTHAM insists he is ready to fire Dunfermline back to the Premiership after shunning interest from north and south of the border to sign a new contract with the Pars.
The 27-year-old has ended uncertainty over his future by penning a one-year extension to his deal at East End Park, joining Nat Wedderburn, Lee Ashcroft and Callum Morris in committing for next term.
And Higginbotham has no doubt he can lead a promotion charge, having recovered from a nightmare start to this season to finish just four points adrift of the top four – losing just four league games since mid-November.
“With the squad the gaffer is building, I believe we can have a real push at it and I’m delighted I’ll be a part of that.
“If you look at this season, we were pushing against some really big teams, like Hibs and Dundee United. With Raith Rovers going down, Hibs going up, and potentially losing Falkirk or Dundee United, next year will be a great season to have a real go.
“I think what let us down this season was the start of the season, but from the turn of the year we were one of the form teams.
“If we start next season the way we finished this one, then I can’t see us going wrong.”
Higginbotham arrived at Dunfermline last summer after cutting short a miserable spell at Kilmarnock, while brief stints at Partick Thistle, Motherwell and Carlisle were similarly underwhelming.
And he has vowed to get even better.
He continued: “From the moment I came to this club, I have been greeted with open arms by every single person – players and staff.
“The belief the management team have in me is huge and when you have got that you know you can go out and express yourself. I feel like I have done that.
“I can be better – I understand that – and hopefully next season I will be, and improve my goals and assists tally.”
Higginbotham also revealed he snubbed offers from his Scottish rivals and his native England, emphasising that he has found professional and personal happiness with the Pars.
He added: “I had other options on the table. It wouldn’t be right for me to name which team, but there was interest here and teams down south that were keen to take me.
“But I went home last week and left my family up here – and my daughter was on FaceTime a lot and she was missing me. That was a massive factor in me staying up here. You can’t put a price tag on being happy and being with your family.”