Kane Hemmings delighted to be back at Dundee

Kane Hemmings has returned to Dundee having signed a three-year-deal which sees the striker reunited with his ex-teammate, now Dundee manager, James McPake.

Hemmings enjoyed a tremendous first spell with the club back in 2015-16. He racked up 28 goals in 44 games for the Dark Blues and earned himself a PFA Player of the Year nomination before leaving to join League One side Oxford United.

The 28-year-old is back at Dens and is understandably pleased to have agreed his return.

“It is good to be back,” he said.

“It was a bit of a long day yesterday, but I am up here now, I am happy everything is sorted, and I’m delighted to be back.”

Scottish Premiership side St Johnstone had also tabled an offer to Hemmings, however he felt that a return to Dundee was the better option. Not least because he knows the manger, but also Jimmy Nicholl who had managed him at Cowdenbeath.

“Obviously, I know the manager and I know Jimmy well and a couple of the lads as well,” he said.

“I just thought that they have a chance here to potentially get promoted and that was a big draw for me really.

“It was nothing against any other clubs, obviously I am familiar with people here and I had a good time here.

“It just felt a bit more comfortable.”

While some may be surprised that Hemmings has elected to join a Scottish Championship side over a Premiership team, Hemmings wants to play in the top league with Dundee.

“Obviously, everyone wants to play at the highest level,” he said.

“I had the chance to go there, but I think if I can do that with Dundee it would feel a lot better.”

Hemmings has always scored goals regularly since leaving Dens, and he is determined to add to Dundee’s firepower regardless of the pressure of expectation.

“For me, I always put the pressure on to score goals,” he said.

“Strikers are always judged on how many goals they score, but I will always put that pressure on myself.

“If I am playing well and scoring goals then hopefully the team will be successful.”

Dundee manager James McPake was delighted to get his former teammate back at Dens, and also expressed his gratitude to the club’s board for the backing they have shown in sealing this deal.

“It is a big one for the football club and we are delighted to get it finally done,” he said.

“We made a call to Kane about seven weeks ago.”

“It is one we’ve had to be patient with, and one we had to get right, because there was a lot of competition for him because he is Kane Hemmings and what he brings to any football club he goes in to.

“We are delighted, and credit to people at the club, John (Nelms), Tim (Keyes), the board and the directors that got this one done because it is a permanent deal.

“Three years and as a football club we are absolutely delighted.”

It goes without saying that Hemmings return is influenced by the relationship both he and McPake had as teammates, but McPake sees in Hemmings the right character for the dressing room at Dundee.

“It was a big factor in me being so keen,” he said.

“He is more than a goal scorer, his all-round game is very good, and his character is massive.

“That was a big plus for me, I know him personally, from playing in the same team as him and seeing how he is around a dressing room.

“He is bubbly, he is infectious.”

Hemmings could make his second debut for the club when Dundee take on Ayr United this Saturday at Dens Park.

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