Originally drafted in from the under-19 squad to replace Don MacMillan during a suspension in season 2004–05 he was automatic first choice for almost all of seasons 2006–07, 2007–08 and 2008–09. He took some time out in 2010–11 but eventually began training with the squad again. He broke his wrist in September 2011, but has now returned to full fitness and regained his number one spot. However, after returning from injury, he was beaten to the goalkeeping spot in 2014–15 by young talent Sean McCarthy.
James was born in Wick in 1988 before moving to neighbouring village Reiss. After a successful career at East End Boys Club, James briefly played as a central defender for his local high school Wick High before committing to the goalkeepers role in his breakthrough with Academy.