The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)

Locke hails Johnston signing


Raith Rovers boss Gary Locke admits he would pay money to watch exciting new signing Chris Johnston.

The Stark’s Park manager knows all about the 21-year-old winger having been his gaffer when he was in charge at Kilmarnock.

Johnston left Rugby Park at the end of last season after a campaign that had been blighted by a cruciate ligament injury suffered against Dundee on the opening day.

Locke confessed he was surprised that Johnston had been released by the Ayrshire club and he moved quickly to bring him to Kirkcaldy, snapping him up despite interest from other clubs.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to sign Chris. There was a lot of interest from elsewhere in him so it is a real coup for Raith to get him.

“It was a big blow for me when I was Kilmarnock manager to lose him when he suffered his serious knee injury. He battled back to full fitness and played a few Under-20 games towards the end of last season.

“Chris obviously passed a thorough medical at Raith and hopefully with a full pre-season under his belt, he will hit the ground running. He had another year left on his deal with Kilmarnock so I was a bit surprised when he was let go.

“He is an exciting player with a goal in him and he should be a big favourite with the fans. I would certainly pay money to watch Chris.

“I wouldn’t say he has a point to prove but hopefully he can fully realise his potential with regular first-team football.

“I have been in his position as a player and you just want to get back playing as much as possible.

“We are also still working away on a couple of other deals. Money is tight but we are determined to strengthen further.”

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