DUNFERMLINE boss James McPake has revealed he tried to sign "dynamic" Alex Jakubiak last season and has expressed surprise that he wasn't kept on by his previous club.

On Friday, the Pars completed a deal to sign the 27-year-old until the end of the season, and he was at Tannadice the following day to watch his new club play Dundee United in the SPFL Trust Trophy.

After reportedly being spotted taking in last month's Fife derby with Raith Rovers at KDM Group East End Park, speculation about Athletic making a move for Jakubiak started to build, and McPake subsequently confirmed his interest in the player.

The English-born player, who began his career with Watford, was signed by McPake for Dundee in 2020, after he had had loan spells with a variety of clubs, including Falkirk and St Mirren.

He helped the Dark Blues win promotion to the top flight in 2021, after McPake's side won the Premiership play-offs, defeating Kilmarnock in the final, and scored 10 goals in all competitions last season as they returned to the top flight at the first time of asking after relegation.

Despite a run of four goals in eight games - including one in the dramatic 5-3 win at Queen's Park in the title-deciding final match of the campaign - Jakubiak was not kept on by Dundee, following the appointment of Tony Docherty as successor to Gary Bowyer, who left despite leading them to the Championship crown.

The free agent has now, however, reunited with McPake, who previously said he was "a player I really do admire".

"First and foremost, as a character, he's brilliant to work with," McPake said after the game at Tannadice.

"I signed him at Dundee and he was really unfortunate. I think that worked both ways because, with him getting the unfortunate injuries, which were the first of his career, really, it hampered us a lot because you saw at the end of last season the effect he can have.

"I was surprised he didn't stay there. I tried to bring him here at Christmas when he was coming back from injury, and they told me no. You could see why because he had a fantastic effect on that team at the end of last season to help them get promoted."

Jakubiak only played five times in his first season at Dens Park during an injury-hit campaign, but played 10 times in the next for the Dark Blues, before doing so 14 times for Partick Thistle on loan during the second half of the 2021/22 season.

He then featured 30 times last term - including against the Pars in an SPFL Trust Trophy quarter-final, that Dundee won 4-2 - and McPake, who said Jakubiak will be in the squad to face Queen's Park at Hampden on Saturday, added: "He's dynamic, he's quick, he's strong, he can create, he can score, so I'm looking forward to getting him back involved with the squad."

"Today it just didn't make any sense to risk him, even for 20 minutes here or there, it didn't make any sense. He did a bit this morning, he's trained all week with us, so delighted to get him in."