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Hemmings has one eye on Rangers despite his own worries

KANE HEMMINGS is knee-deep in the middle of his very own survival battle, but admits he cannot help thinking about his old Rangers team-mates as they deal with the spectre of the club going into administration.

The 22-year-old Cowdenbeath striker went through the agonies of the biggest insolvency event in British football at Ibrox two years ago only to be released at the end of his contract last summer.

He has reconstructed his career in the unlikely surroundings of Central Park, though, and hopes to build upon winning the Cheque Centre/PFA Scotland Championship Player of the Year award by helping his side beat Queen of the South at home this weekend and avoid the nerve-shredding tension of the play-offs.

However, like almost everyone in the game, he keeps abreast of Rangers' never-ending financial problems and has been alarmed by shareholder Sandy Easdale discussing the prospect of the club failing to survive a second administration and former team-mate Lee Wallace detailing concerns about the immediate future.

"It was obviously disappointing to leave Rangers, but you don't want to be in that situation as a player again," stated Hemmings. "I was there the first time when they went into administration and it's been well-documented what happened.

"I feel for the boys that are there now because people have bills and mortgages to pay and it's not nice for the players."

Hemmings makes no secret of the fact that the bottom fell out of his world when Rangers, having brought him back from an initial loan deal at Cowdenbeath, allowed his contract to run out without placing another offer on the table.

With 21 goals this season, though, he is already attracting interest from clubs at a higher level, but concedes he will not be able to truly enjoy his current sense of satisfaction unless he keeps Cowdenbeath, currently one point behind Alloa in second-bottom position, in the SPFL Championship.

"There is life after Rangers," he said. "Obviously, you'd like to stay there as it's a massive club with a massive fanbase, but you need to forget about it and get on with things.

"I've done that this year and the award shows that, if you ever get knocked down by something, you need to get back up. I'm actually quite proud of myself.

"I was devastated at the time when Rangers let me go, but you need to get back up. The job isn't finished yet, though.

"There's still one game to go and I hope a win will keep the club safe and secure for next year and facing the likes of Lee Wallace and the other boys at Rangers."

Hemmings enjoyed his spell in the spotlight at a gala dinner in Glasgow on Sunday when receiving his player of the year award, but he confesses it will be forever tarnished should it be followed by relegation.

"If we do end up in the play-offs and things don't go our way, this award really means nothing," he stated.

"It's nice to be recognised, but it wouldn't mean much, to be honest, if it's on the back of an unsuccessful season."

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