BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
MYLES HIPPOLYTE has vowed to win over the boo-boys after completing a shock switch to Dunfermline.
The 23-year-old has been public enemy number one at East End Park stretching back to April last year when his act of simulation – he later received a ban for the dive – won a penalty to help the Pars’ fierce foes Falkirk to claim a 2-1 victory.
Dunfermline’s own Twitter feed posted a video of the incident, complete with a ‘diver’ emoji.
Hippolyte has been mercilessly jeered every time he has come up against Dunfermline since, meaning eyebrows were raised when he joined the club on a two-year deal from St Mirren yesterday.
Indeed, the announcement of his signing on social media yesterday was met by a barrage of criticism.
“Hopefully they will change their opinions and be on my side pretty quickly,” said Hippolyte, acknowledging that his signing may not be universally welcomed.
“The plan is to hit the ground running with a couple of good performances. Even if you have never played for a rival team, there will be some fans who don’t think you are right or ready for their team.
“There will be people to win over and I look forward to that challenge. I would like to think I can win over the fans with my performances. I want to prove my worth to the supporters here. Hopefully, I can do that.
“I have always said I enjoyed my time at Falkirk but you move on from clubs and priorities change. That is how it is for me and I want to do as well as I possibly can for Dunfermline.”
As he seeks to win some new friends in Fife, Hippolyte is acutely aware that he may have lost a few in Falkirk.
He starred for the Bairns for two years after joining them from Livingston, notching 15 goals and helping them secure a second-place finish in the Championship in 2016/17.
“Falkirk fans will be annoyed, which any fan would be,” continued Hippolyte. “But it’s my career and I don’t think anyone can grudge you for trying to make a positive move.
“You are always going to give a move like this serious thought – it’s the question every fan wants to ask me: “why would you do that?”
“But I’m a young player trying to progress my career and certain situations arise and you need to make decisions about what is best for you – and this is the right move for me.”
And Hippolyte insists he has no fears about settling into a dressing room that includes several players he infuriated while in the colours of Falkirk.
Pars stopper Murdoch buried the hatchet last night, tweeting his support for the signing.
“When you are playing for a club, they are your priority and you will always defend that team,” he added. “The Dunfermline players are the same. But that was then – and now we are all in the same dressing room and we all have the same drive.
“It doesn’t make a difference to me what anyone said before, it all about how we are towards each other going forward. I can’t wait to work with all the boys.
“I’ve already got a few friends in the dressing room in Jackson and Louis Longridge, and James Craigen and a few other lads in there – so it wasn’t too awkward!”
To his credit, Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston, who secured the signing of Hippolyte just 24 hours after snapping up Faissal El Bakhtaoui on loan, did not shy away from the challenge facing Hippolyte.
“Coming from your rivals, albeit via St Mirren, means that it is up to him to hit the ground running and make sure he becomes a fans’ favourite,” said Johnston.
“If you work hard for the team, show you want to be here and produce good performances then that will happen. He knows that and is desperate to be a success.
“He gives us something different. In every game he has played against us, he’s caused us problems due to his pace and ability score goals.”