Raith Rovers have enjoyed a great season in the Championship, exceeding expectations after a spell in League 1.
Although the outcome of last Wednesday will hurt everyone at the club, winning the 2nd leg at Dens Park 1-0 will have everyone connected to the club proud of the season they’ve had.
The only disappointment is not having the fans inside Starks Park due to COVID-19 restrictions. Had Rovers completed the turnaround, it would have been befitting for Rovers to play in front of 500 fans due to the philosophy & style of football that John McGlynn has instilled.
After Saturday’s victory in Dundee, boss McGlynn admitted after the game that players will commit to Rovers & some will depart from the club, obvious understandably as that’s how football works but the main priority must be keeping Regan Hendry & Lewis Vaughan on the payroll heading into next season.
Lewis Vaughan has had 3 ACL injuries and Raith’s gifted No.10 has enjoyed more eye-catching showings since returning to full fitness & Saturday’s result in Dundee was probably his most complete performance in recent memory.
Not only did Vaughan produce an inspired opener, holding off the attention of Jordan McGhee before curling a fine drive beyond Adam Legzdins, but he linked possession and pressed manfully throughout.
Raith also have Gozie Ugwu & Manny Duku on the books currently who aren’t household names in Championship terms but certainly are on a Raith Rovers basis who have played their part in the implementation of how John McGlynn has set up his side this term.
You also have Regan Hendry who was voted for Championship player of the year at the weekend, only just losing out to Liam Boyce of Hearts, Hendry has earned accolades from both within the club and across the Scottish football structure.
Hendry, of course, came through the successful youth academy programme at Hutchison Vale before departing to Celtic who shone for the Bhoys in the UEFA Youth League and featured in the Premier League International Cup.
The midfielder never broke through at Celtic but after an initial loan spell at Raith, the move was turned permanent with this season undoubtedly being one of his best.
An ability to get on the ball and make forward making runs but also do the work in his accustomed midfield position can’t be undermined and admitted having spoke in the aftermath of the play-offs on Saturday evening that full credit needs to go towards McGlynn for the season.
Hendry said, “I am proud of how we’ve done this season, I can’t accept the vote for player of the year without thanking John & my team-mates, we play a certain style of football and it suits me.
“If we don’t play that style of football then I probably don’t even play this season because it doesn’t suit the way I play, I need to thank everyone for that, John deserves credit for what we’ve done this season.
“We have over achieved but our style is different for this league & he’s the mastermind behind that.”