STEVEN WHITTAKER hopes that his experience on and off the pitch can help achieve success for Athletic after making a move that "ticked a lot of boxes".

The versatile former Hibernian, Rangers and Scotland full back, 36, penned a one-year deal as a player-coach with Stevie Crawford's side on Monday, on the same day that the Pars also snapped up ex-Dundee United defender Paul Watson.

In May, Edinburgh native Whittaker's second spell with the Hibees, with whom he began his professional career, came to an end when he was one of three first-team players released following the premature end to the season.

In between those spells at Easter Road, where he won the League Cup in 2007, he enjoyed a success-laden spell with Rangers – which included playing in the 2008 UEFA Cup final – and a five-year spell with Norwich City.

Having played for the Canaries in English football's top flight, and being selected 31 times for the national side, Whittaker's CV as a player is impressive.

Moving into coaching is something he has been working towards and, although he's keen to get to work with Crawford, and fellow coaches Greg Shields and Jason Dair, Whittaker hopes to have an impact on the park when the Pars return for the new Championship season.

Speaking to Press Sport, he said: "Being out of contract, just at my age, it's hard to see where you're going to go after that, but I'd done a little bit of coaching at Hibs and got involved whenever I could when I wasn't on the pitch playing on a Saturday.

"I think it was something I was always going to work towards. I've done my badges; I've just got my A licence assessment to pass, which was meant to be this summer, but that got cancelled and delayed.

"I'm ticking all those boxes and this deal was something I wanted to make that transition a little bit.

"I got speaking to Stevie and he was keen to meet up and show me the club. I wanted to get a feel for it, and a feel for Stevie, and I met Ross (McArthur) the chairman.

"Having done that, it was clear that both of them care about the club. They really, really want the club to do well, and that was a big sell for me.

"It was something that I was excited about and wanted to join in, and see if I can have an impact, on the staff first and foremost, and obviously the playing side of it as well.

"I still feel like I can get out there, do a job and help the guys on the pitch.

"It'll be a busy year for me but I'm really looking forward to the challenge of keeping myself fit and ready on a Saturday, and also getting involved with the staff and the decisions that need to be made day-in, day-out.

"It ticked a lot of boxes for me. I'm from Edinburgh originally, so the club's not too far away, so travelling and things like that, it's good. I've got a young family as well so, again, it will allow me to stay at home and have that side of it away from football as well.

"It really just felt right to go down this route and, like I said, I'm just excited to get going now."

Asked whether he felt his wealth of experience can rub off on Dunfermline's younger players, Whittaker continued: "That's where I feel I can help.

"I was a young boy coming through and I know how important those senior pros in the changing room were at the time for me.

"Roles have switched now and hopefully I can be that to a lot of the younger lads, show them the ropes, maybe show them what it takes to be the best version of yourself if you like, and progress if they're willing to put the effort in and have got ambition to progress. I can just show them, hopefully what it takes, and help them on the pitch as well.

"There was a couple of other things that I wanted to look over but, right from the word go, when I met Stevie and the chairman there was just a feel-good factor.

"I really enjoyed the company and I really enjoyed the vision and the direction the club was going in, and the task they were trying to achieve. I really took to it and really wanted to be a part of it.

"After going away, sorting my head out and having a think about a few other things, I was just drawn to it over and over again and felt like it was the right one for me."