East Fife player manager Gary Naysmith yesterday admitted he was more “hopeful than confident” about the possibility of former Scotland striker Derek Riordan turning out for his side against Annan Athletic this weekend.
The 32-year-old, who has been training with Livingston, appeared as a trialist in the Fifers’ 2-1 win over East Stirling on Tuesday night and was instrumental in the Methil club’s second goal, squaring the ball to Sean Dickson to score at the second attempt.
However, the ex-Celtic and Hibs man was forced to rush away immediately after his 40 minute cameo at Bayview due to the birth of his child, and it remains to be seen whether or not the forward can commit to another trialist appearance tomorrow.
Further talks are expected today, and Naysmith says he would love to have the striker at his disposal until the end of the current season.
“It says a wee bit about him that he wanted to drop down to the level we’re playing at,” Naysmith explained.
“He’s the third highest goalscorer of all-time in the SPL and he’s shown that commitment to come and play for us for his petrol money basically.
“He was playing for next to nothing so hopefully we’ll have him on Saturday and we can reassess the situation.
“But we’re playing it game by game just now.
“I’ll be honest and say it took a wee bit of persuasion, and I told him to try and play a few games and put himself in the shop window for next season.
“So far he’s bought into that and I’ll speak to him on Friday.
“His fitness may not be there yet but he’ll never lose the quality that he had that will stay with him and it’s up to us to try and use him to the best of our ability while he’s with us.
“I thought it was worth taking a chance on him and I hope it’s until the end of the season.”
As well as Riordan getting a chance to perhaps impress, Naysmith has also conceded that the form of defender Julen Etxabegueren Leanizbarrutia has not gone unnoticed by other clubs.
“I know there are teams watching him already,” he added.
“I think we should just be grateful that we’ve got him and hopefully he can help get us to where we want to be this season.”
The Fifers will be boosted tomorrow by the return of striker Nathan Austin after recovering from a hamstring injury, although fellow forward Kevin Smith will remain sidelined with a knee injury.