BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
DUNFERMLINE new-boy Danny Devine concedes he arrives at East End Park with a point to prove after suffering the heartbreak of relegation with Partick Thistle last season.
Devine, 25, was among 16 players released by the Jags as manager Alan Archibald overhauls his squad in a bid to ensure they can challenge for an immediate return to the top-flight.
Admitting his Firhill departure came as little surprise, the former Inverness and Preston defender has wasted no time in finding new employers, putting pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Pars yesterday.
Having veered from the highs of a historic top-six finish with Partick in his first campaign in Maryhill, to the lows of suffering the dreaded drop, Devine insists he is ready to win over the fans in Fife.
“I’ll have a point to prove after the disappointment of last season. In football, you always have a point to prove,” said Devine. “No matter where you go, you need to show you are a good player. You can’t live off the past, but that’s a challenge I am relishing.
“There were a lot of ups and downs at Partick, to say the least. In my first season there it was an amazing campaign, getting top-six football for the first time. But there’s no getting away from the disappointment of last season.
“It just goes to show how football can change in an instant, and it is about how you bounce back from the lows. You need to believe that there will always be something just around the corner to pick you back up again – joining Dunfermline is that for me.
“I knew there was a possibility I would get let go; all the lads knew that. A lot of boys have moved on, there have been really big changes there, but all my focus is getting Dunfermline back to where they should be.”
Devine revealed he sought the counsel of fellow Inverness Scottish Cup-winning hero James Vincent prior to committing to Dunfermline.
Vincent made 12 appearances for the Pars last season after joining the club on loan from Dundee in January – and Devine was left in no doubt that Fife would be a positive career move.
“I know James [Vincent], who was on loan here last season,” continued Devine. “So I spoke to him and a few other boys about the club and everything I heard was really positive about the set-up, the stature and the way things are run.
“He really enjoyed his time here and assured me it was a good club and somewhere I would enjoy my football if that was the decision I made.
“Everything going on here is positive, the ambitions are high and I’m excited to be a part of things.”
With that in mind, the expectation among supporters is that Dunfermline mount a realistic tilt at the title next term.
Devine added: “I’ve no doubt that with the manager and the group of players here that we can be right up there challenging.”
Meanwhile, Dunfermline have confirmed the capture of former Dundee United defender Mark Durnan on a one-year deal.
The 25-year-old, who worked with Pars boss Allan Johnston at Queen of the South, departs Tannadice after three years with United, making more than 100 appearances for the club.
Johnston added: “I know Mark from his time at Queen of the South. He gives us height and physical presence at the back. I am sure that he will do well. He has a bit of experience behind him playing Championship football predominantly and Premiership as well.
“He wants to be really successful, he is good defensively, good in the air and is one of those players who is looking to improve all the time.
“He fits all the criteria we are looking for and having worked with him before I know how good a lad he is in the dressing room as well. I am sure that he will fit in really well with the players that are here.”