KILMARNOCK have pulled off a transfer coup by signing Kallum Higginbotham from Partick Thistle on a two-year deal.
The former Falkirk and Huddersfield player spent two years at Thistle, scoring eight goals in his first campaign and two last season.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder rejected a new contract offer from the Firhill club and Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke’s persistence has since paid off.
Locke told his club’s official website: “I am over the moon to have secured Kallum, he was one of my main targets and we have chased him all summer.
“He is a creative front player and a goal threat, it’s great to secure him for the club.”
Higginbotham said: “Gary has been relentless in his efforts to sign me and I have taken this as a huge compliment. I am now keen to work hard and repay his faith by doing well for the club.”
The move means Higginbotham will have to get used to training daily and playing regularly on the artificial surface at Rugby Park after expressing serious reservations about plastic pitches last month.
Speaking after two players were injured in a game at Hamilton’s New Douglas Park, Higginbotham said: “It is hard to get any sort of game going on that surface. I have never approved of plastic pitches and never will. It is just not for me.
“I did my knee earlier in the season at Kilmarnock. Surely it is not good for your joints.
“You feel about 105 when you come off the pitch after the game. It just shows you it is not suitable to play 90 minutes on.
“I don’t know how they train on it every day as it must knock a couple of years off your career.”
Speaking yesterday, he told STV: “Grass is always going to always be better than artificial, and I will stand by that decision.
“I think my point was proved, because Hamilton have lifted their pitch and relaid it.
“I’m not going to stand here and say that Kilmarnock’s is miles better than Hamilton’s, but it is a lot better.
“I’m delighted to have signed and I’m happy to play on the pitch otherwise I wouldn’t be here. Ask me that again in six months’ time and we’ll see.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I could go through the season playing on a plastic pitch.”