The guessing game is over ...
Marvin Andrews will not play for Raith Rovers next season after telling manager John McGlynn that he is close to securing a big move.
Out of contract Andrews (33) has been lured away from Stark's Park by at least one offer of SPL football next season, believed to be from Hamilton Accies, with other clubs also understood to be considering offers for the Trinidad and Tobago internationalist.
The news will come as a massive blow to supporters who regard Andrews as a cult hero after he returned from knee surgery to help the team win last season's Second Division title.
Andrews decision to leave also forces McGlynn into a re-think; he had hoped to build his defence around the towering centre-half.
Behind the scenes however, the Rovers boss had been preparing for the worst, and has a number of possible replacement already lined up.
And Rovers fans could catch a glimpse of a few trialists as Rovers preseason schedule kicks off with the visit of Airdrie United on Saturday.
"Marvin has informed us that he has an SPL offer and that he's going to take it," McGlynn told SportsPress.
"We couldn't possibly stand in the way of Marvin. He did a great job for us in helping us over the finishing line last season and he leaves with our best wishes.
"We now have to find a replacement. It's a big hole to fill because there's no-one with the stature of Marvin out there, but we need to the best we can."
"We had to get alternatives in mind, because Marvin had never given us an assurance that he'd be back. I'm not going to name names because I'm still looking about.
"We've got some guys training with us who are options.
"The upcoming friendlies may be an opportunity to have a look at one or two to see if they're up to what we're looking for."
One of the players training with Raith – ex-Pars defender Scott Thomson – is unlikely to be considered as McGlynn considers the 37-year-old too old for his plans.
"We're trying to build a team with legs in it," he said.
"Of course you're going to need experience, but we've not been very fortunate with the older players we've brought in. We've picked up injuries and not had much luck.
"We're trying to build a team that has a lot of pace and mobility. We know we'll need to be extremely fit and well organised.
"As much as experience is invaluable, and I know that from my time at Hearts working with guys like Steven Pressley who upstairs are a step ahead, but there's a gamble with a very small squad that if some of the older players pick up injuries a fair amount of your budget ends up sitting in the stand.
"I have to weigh all these options up and I'm going down the line of getting a team in its mid 20s - hungry, less chance of getting injured, and recover quicker."
Most of the Rovers squad managed to come through the rigors of preseason training unscathed, with only Robert Sloan picking up an injury.
Sloan strained a calf muscle on the first night back and has not trained since. "It's annoying because it puts him two weeks behind everyone else," McGlynn said.
l ROVERS preseason schedule starts at home to Airdrie on Saturday before the visit of a more unfamiliar team to Stark's Park.
Norwich City, relegated from the English Championship last season, will be Raith's opponents on Tuesday evening in the club's second preseason friendly.
''It will be a different test for us, going into the unknown, because we won't know many of the Norwich players,'' said John McGlynn.
Andrews wins deal with Hamilton.
By Clive Lindsay (BBC Sport).
Former Rangers defender Marvin Andrews has won a one-year contract with Hamilton Academical after rejecting a new deal with Raith Rovers.
Accies have also concluded the paperwork on goalkeeper Tomas Cerny's £180,000 move from Sigma Olomouc after a successful loan spell last season.
And they will extend defender Trent McClenahan's contract by a year.
The 33-year-old Andrews helped Rovers win the Division Two title last term and earned a Trinidad & Tobago recall.
It had been Andrews' third spell with the Kirkcaldy club.
Now he will return to the Scottish Premier League, which he won with Rangers in 2005, having impressed in a bounce game against Queen's Park on Monday.
Andrews left Carib in his homeland for Rovers in 1997 and moved on to Livingston three years later.
Having signed for Rangers in 2004, he famously played on without surgery through a normally career-threatening cruciate ligament injury.
Andrews said it was his Christian faith that saw him through, but the injury caught up with him when it ruled him out of Trinidad And Tobago's 2006 World Cup campaign.
That summer, he returned to Rovers but left the club by mutual consent two years later because a troublesome cartilage problem required surgery that would prevent him playing for much of the season.
However, he signed again for the club in time to play the final 10 games of their title-winning and promotion season.
Andrews won his 100th cap in June as Trinidad and Tobago lost 3-2 to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier.
Meanwhile, on the day midfielder James McCarthy agreed a £1.2m transfer to Wigan, Accies have finally made Cerny a permanent signing after concluding negotiations with his former Czech employers.
Cerny, who had been interesting Swansea City, has played 59 times for Accies since arriving on loan in 2007.
However, Olomouc demanded a fee after Cerny agreed a two-year contract with Accies in April.
The fee is treble the club's previous record purchases - £60,000 paid for Paul Martin from Kilmarnock in 1988 and for John McQuade from Dumbarton in 1993.
Fellow 24-year-old McClenahan, who joined Hamilton in September after leaving Hereford, has won a new contract after playing 24 times last season.
McClenahan returned to his native Australia in May for an operation and Accies say he will put pen to paper when he arrives back from Sydney on Wednesday.