Today, St Mirren, in an extraordinary act of self-sabotage, have signed "striker" Gavin Reilly on a 1 year contract. Reilly was Dunfermline's most disappointing signing of last summer, his season characterised by a miserable goal return and lacklustre all-round displays. The player had previously worked with Allan Johnston at Queen of the South, scoring a respectable 15 goals in the Championship season of 2014/15. This won him a 3 year contract with Hearts, but his return of only 4 goals in 32 appearances in his first season with Hearts led to him being loaned to the division below and reunited with his former boss Johnston.
Two goals in a pre-season victory at Livingston seemed to suggest that Reilly was an effective penalty box goal poacher, and he began the season upfront with Michael Moffat. Moffat's double against Arbroath in the Betfred Cup was the only game in which either player scored in the opening six League and Cup games. Reilly then scored against Hibs at Easter Road with a well-taken finish. A second goal of the season, 3 weeks later in the Challenge Cup win at Brechin, gave Reilly a record of 2 goals in 7 games.
And that was that.
Reilly was unable to score another goal, finishing the season with 2 goals from 16 starts and 12 substitute appearances. Both his goals came in away games and so the majority of Dunfermline fans did not witness the player scoring a goal. He was an unused substitute for the majority of the second half of the season, with Nicky Clark the team's main goalscorer, and Reilly unable to displace the Moff, whose creativity ensured that he kept his place in the team, despite only scoring 4 League goals all season. Reilly's minimal contributions saw him run around but have next to no impact on the game. He was not even guilty of missing chances - he was so ineffective that it was a rarity to see him touch the ball.
Reilly looked a despondent figure, hardly surprisingly, but did not endear himself to fans when he was the only Pars player not to celebrate the New Year win with supporters at Stark's Park, making a bee-line for the changing room at the opposite end of the ground as soon as the final whistle sounded.
St Mirren have now given the player another chance at Championship level, after he was seemingly released from Hearts after 2 years of his 3 year deal had passed, according to reports today. Saints manager Jack Ross must see something in the player that was missing during his season in Fife. The player will need to up his game drastically to have a future at this level, and will not be fondly remembered by Dunfermline fans.