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Ethan Ross reflects on time at Raith Rovers, being released and proving Stark’s Park doubters wrong

The former Aberdeen winger joined Falkirk on a permanent deal after being freed by Rovers.

Ethan Ross in action for Raith Rovers.
Former Raith Rovers winger Ethan Ross. Image: SNS.

Ethan Ross insists he will look back fondly on his time at Raith Rovers – but will return next season determined to prove his doubters wrong.

The winger was amongst the players last week freed by the Stark’s Park club and instantly joined Falkirk on a one-year deal.

The move maintained the former Aberdeen attacker’s relationship with the ex-Rovers managerial pair of John McGlynn and Paul Smith following this past season’s loan at the Bairns.

McGlynn was responsible for Ross joining Raith, initially on a loan from the Dons in October 2020 and then again permanently 12 months later.

However, a groin injury sustained early in Ian Murray’s tenure as McGlynn’s replacement stunted his development in Kirkcaldy, and he was farmed out to Falkirk in September last year.

Raith Rovers winger Ethan Ross holds off Hibernian defender Lewis Miller.
Ethan Ross made one of five appearances for Raith Rovers last season in the Viaplay Cup clash with Hibernian. Image: Ross Parker / SNS Group.

The 22-year-old subsequently added the Bairns’ League One title to the SPFL Trust Trophy he landed with Raith in 2022 and will return to Stark’s Park with a point to prove.

“When I look back on my time at Raith Rovers, there’s lots of ups – and lots of downs as well,” Ross told Courier Sport.

“I felt that first season I really hit the ground running and that’s what I wanted to do when I was in at Raith.

“I wanted to show I was capable of playing at a higher level, and in that first season I was doing well and the team was doing well.

“Obviously, I was looking to do more of the same in the second season.

‘A very proud moment’

“A new gaffer, Ian Murray, came in, of course, and that was a change in styles. But I felt like I adapted to it at the start and I was playing in quite a few games.

“I captained the side, which was a very proud moment for myself, coming against my boyhood team, in Aberdeen.

“And then I picked up a groin injury – osteitis pubis – not too long into the season and that halted any progress I was making.

“So, there are good memories and bad memories.

“We lifted the SPFL Trust Trophy in that first season, which was brilliant. It was my first cup in my career, so I’ll definitely look back on that with fond memories.

Ethan Ross (right) and Matej Poplatnik celebrate Raith’s SPFL Trust Trophy triumph in April 2022. Image: Paul Devlin / SNS Group.

“Things could have been different but that’s just football, and I think everything happens for a reason.

I went on loan to Falkirk and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. We won the league and went unbeaten, and having signed there again you can tell how much I enjoyed it.

“But I’ll never look back with any bad memories from Raith.”

The ambitious Ross, who went on trial with Southampton before landing at Raith three years ago, is relishing the prospect of being back in the Championship.

However, in addition to the Bairns’ challenges, he admits he is also looking forward to trying to shoot down those who viewed him as surplus to requirements at Rovers.

‘Fans treated me with respect’

“On a personal level, going back to Stark’s Park will be really good,” he added.

“I can’t thank the fans at Raith enough for the time I spent at the club, because I think they always treated me with respect and treated me well when I came down to Kirkcaldy.

“I enjoyed playing in front of them, massively.

“But I’ve been released by Raith. So, there’s maybe some people behind the scenes who I want to prove wrong and show that they made the wrong decision.

“Saying that, I can’t be happier being at Falkirk and I look forward to going back and proving a point.”