Paul Hanlon: I never expected to leave Hibs in my career

The club captain will play his final game for the club at Easter Road after his contract was not renewed.

Paul Hanlon: I never expected to leave Hibs in my career SNS Group

Ahead of his final appearance for Hibernian at Easter Road, club captain Paul Hanlon said he wanted to stay and that he never expected to be leaving his boyhood team.

The 34-year-old will depart Hibs at the end of the season after 17 seasons and more than 550 appearances in green and white.

He along with fellow club stalwart Lewis Stevenson, will take a final bow in front of the home fans when Hibs take on Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday night.

But Hanlon regrets that he has not been given the chance to finish his career as a one-club man.

Asked if he has hoped to remain at Hibs, he said: “Yes. This is my club, this is where I want to be.

“I still believe I’ve got a lot to offer in terms of playing and within the squad.

“I wanted to stay here but the club has made the decision that my contract is going to end and to move on.”

Hanlon has not finalised a move to another club yet but does not expect a late change of mind from the Hibs hierarchy that could see him stay – despite the sacking of head coach Nick Montgomery this week.

He said: “It’s a difficult question to answer because I don’t see it happening but it would be hard to turn down.

“At no stage in my career did I picture myself leaving here. I have been lucky, privileged, however you want to put it, to have represented my boyhood club for my entire career.

“I have loved it. There has been ups, downs – it has been some journey.”

Hanlon admitted it has been an emotional time as he prepares for life after Hibs.

He added: “I probably hadn’t done enough thinking about it before the announcement was made so it caught me a bit off-guard with a lot of messages flooding in and a lot of nice words.

“That hit me pretty hard – the messages are still coming in now. It is an emotional last period at Hibs but I want to enjoy it as much as I can and that comes with winning games.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in