Dunfermline Athletic

Hopkirk signs for Pars

Friday, 30th Jan 2015

Annan Athletic forward David Hopkirk described himself as 'absolutely bubbling' as he signed for Dunfermline Athletic tonight (30 January).

The 22 year old signs until the end of the 2015-16 season. A Clydebank boy he was at Dundee United for a year and then Celtic for six. He joined Hamilton Academical at the age of 16 and after initially playing with their youth team, Hopkirk signed an 18-month professional contract there in February 2010. He was 17 when he made his SPL debut against Inverness in November that year.

David was given his SPL debut After signing a contract extension in May of that year, he made his professional debut for the club in the Scottish Premier League on 13 November 2010, aged 17, in a 3–1 home defeat against Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Following his release he trained with English club West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff City and Ipswich Town took an interest in him.

David then went onto spend a few months of the 2011–12 season in the reserves at Hearts, though he did not formally sign for them. He was signed by Allan Johnston for Queen of the South in the summer of 2012 and then after initially joining Annan on loan in November 2012 he signed on permanently on 1st January 2013.

David takes up the story:-

"When I joined Annan I was scoring for fun and enjoyed playing every week. I thought I could start again, get noticed and it has worked out for me. I had a set back that put me out for five months last year but I still scored ten goals."

He is a player who likes playing in behind a striker, taking through passes and getting shots away but he has played in every kind of midfield role. An added bonus is that he is two footed:-

"I can hit corners with either foot. I have just not had the break of luck yet and I think this is it!"

After formally joining Annan, David made 55 appearances, he scored 16 goals including one against Dunfermline in the Scottish League Cup earlier this season. John Potter said that he had had his eye on him since that day.

"I am delighted to have him. There have been a lot of bigger clubs than us who have been watching him. He is one that we have always earmarked to try and get. We knew that there was a bit of interest in him so we decided to go for it now. It took a while but he is one that we wanted.

"He will be great, he is two footed and clever round about the goalmouth. He is quick and he will be a real asset for us. He can play anywhere; he can play striker, off the striker, wide on either side and he is really versatile. He puts good balls into the box. He has scored goals this season and gives us a bit more in the final third, scoring and creating.

"I knew him when he was at Hamilton and probably played against him a few times when I was at St Mirren. He broke through quite young and he has moved about a wee bit since then. He probably didn't make the breakthrough that he wanted and has had to take a step back. He has always had the ability and in the last year has matured a bit and got consistent with his performances.

"We have watched him along with a lot of people that we know and we are just delighted to get him now."

Despite Annan's defeat East End Park had made a big impact on Hopkirk back in August:-

"I said after that 'imagine playing here every second week'. I only found out today that there was a possibility of a move here. I was going to work (at Scotmid) when I got a phone call saying that they were interested. I said that I couldn't really turn this down - full time again, that is what I have been working towards."

The player who has been capped for Scotland at under 19 level has been going to the gym at ten o'clock at night to accommodate his shift work:-

"I was asking myself why am I doing this. Working at Scotmid has made me grow up. When I went full time I thought that I had made it but I have learned from it."

The manager is hoping that he can still add to his squad before the transfer deadline on Monday although loan signings can be made after that. The new signing will go straight into the squad to face Ayr United tomorrow.

The new boy knows Shaun Byrne from their days together at Celtic, Ross Millen through his father Andy who was at Hamilton with him and while training with Rangers he met up with Kyle McAusland. Andy Geggan stays near him in Glasgow so there sould be no problem settling in or travelling through from the west. He summed up his opportunity:-

"Last year I broke my foot just before Christmas when I could have had moves then. I felt that held me back and thought this is for eighteen months so I have to play as best I can. Try and get the team promoted and then come in and go for it again. It is a great club and I am looking forward to it."

The player had other options but he is keen to play and feels that this is the right move for him:-

"I didn't want to go to a club where I wasn't comfortable with the managers. I like that they are trying to take the club somewhere because I am like that as well. I am looking forward to working with the rest of the boys and playing. Dunfermline excited me, it is about the opportunity, promotion and getting promoted again. New players could come in and everything can change.

"It is a great move I think, I am absolutely buzzing and I cannot wait until tomorrow."

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