Dunfermline Athletic

Kyle up for a new challenge

Tuesday, 7th Jun 2022

Being a wanted man attracted 30 year old centre back to McPake’s Pars

Kyle Benedictus is happy to follow the likes of Euan Murray and Kevin Nisbet in making the short move from Kirkcaldy to Dunfermline and described the move as a new challenge for him.

With James McPake taking on the managerial position at the Pars it was a likely scenario that the two who have always kept in contact since their brief time together at Dens Park in 2014, would be re-united at East End Park. Kyle revealed:-

“Ever since James was the manager at Dundee, I’ve played against him and he’s spoken to me and texted me after games to tell me how well I had done.

“He also helped me when we were at Dundee and Paul Hartley was the manager and I was getting ready to move on. James was one of the ones who spoke to Paul to try to get him to keep me, because he felt there was something in me. Ever since that time, I’ve respected him.

“At the end of last season, I probably had a funny feeling that it was time to try something new. When he got the job here, I came to meet him and I just think it’s the right move for me. I want to come here and help him grow as a manager. He’s here to get this club back to where it belongs and I want to be a part of that.”

Born and brought up in Dundee, Kyle began his pathway into football at the city’s Lincraig Boys Club and made his debut for the Dens Park club at the age of sixteen. His second match for the Dee was actually away to Dunfermline in November 2008 and he went on to make a total of 97 first team appearances for them.

Kyle and James McPake had one year together after James arrived in the 2014-2015 pre-season and Kyle admitted that it looked very like the new player was after his position!

“We went to Austria and that was where I had the conversation about moving on, whether that was leaving the club or going on loan. Players like James and Kevin Thomson were trying to persuade Paul to keep me. James played my position, so I had a lot of respect for him after saying that to a manager.”

In September 2014 Kyle went out on loan to Alloa Athletic for the season and on completion joined Raith Rovers for what turned out to be a seven year stint. Kyle believes that the move to Dunfermline is the right move for him even though his old boss had discussed him following him to Falkirk:-

“I had played enough games at Raith to earn another year there. James has always been in touch and, through that respect, I want to come here and help him grow as a manager.

“When he got the job I congratulated him and told him I thought it was a really good job for him, and then he was asking what I was doing and could I come and meet him. I’ve had respect for him for a long time and just speaking to him and hearing his plans for the club it’s the right place for me to be, and I’m delighted to be here.

“I met John (McGlynn) the week after the season had finished and I’ve got a lot of respect for him. He’s done a lot for Raith Rovers but he’s away at Falkirk now.

“I really enjoyed my time at Raith, and I’m not going to say any different because I’ve signed for the other side but in terms of a change for me, James is building something here and asked me to be a part of that, and I want to be a part of that.

“I wish Raith all the best. There’s still a lot of friends there, players and other people, who I’ll be in contact with for life but on the football side I’m here to do my best for Dunfermline.”

Kyle has experienced how intense the rivalry is in Fife derbies but the matches against the other Pars derby rivals will have an added edge as he goes up against John McGlynn as well:-

“Now that I’ve signed I’ve heard how big the Falkirk games are. I never really realised how big they were until I signed. It will be interesting playing in those games, especially with John being the Falkirk manager.

“John texted me as soon as this came up and said, ‘all the best, you need to do what’s right for you’. I respect him and he just said, ‘I’ll see you next season’.”

Kyle says that he is excited to sign for Dunfermline and at the age, of 30 thinks that he can bring a lot to the club and to the squad:-

“I know how to get the best out of players. Some need a pat on the back, some need a wee telling. I feel I can bring a lot to the club and I’ve still got a good few years left. Being wanted had a lot to do with it. How much James wanted me can bring out the best in me on the pitch. Hopefully I can do that.

“It will be difficult in League One. Nothing comes easy in football, no matter what league you’re in. You need to work hard and have each other’s backs, and the spirit needs to be right. It’s going to be a very difficult league, there’s a lot of good teams in it.”

Kyle successfully found the way out of League One after doing it with Raith and he hopes that he can be part of a successful Dunfermline side:-

“I’m not going to sit here and set targets, and say we’re going to do this or do that. First and foremost, we need to get this club back to winning games and get this place buzzing again.

“It was probably a similar situation at Raith when we were in League One, and you can see how far the club’s come there. So, I want to do that here and be a part of it. Hopefully it will be an enjoyable season. I can’t wait.”

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