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Ex Hibees in the news

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18 Dec 2013 20:59:13

Ex Hibees in the news

O'Connor and Sproule on the move

A couple of ex Hibees are in the news today, as one secures a move home and another is handed a career lifeline.

Winger Ivan Sproule has secured a move home to Northern Ireland and signed for Linfield on an 18 month deal.

The 32-year-old left Ross County for family reasons last month, and had a number of offers from his homeland, but decided to sign for the Windsor Park club.

It's actually third time lucky for Linfield, who tried to sign him before he moved from Institute to Hibs in 2004.

They then tried to lure him when he was suffering from home sickness at Easter Road, and a £10,000 deal was in place, only for Sproule to come off the bench the following weekend, and hit his famous Ibrox hat-trick.

Unsurprisingly, then Hibs boss Tony Mowbray pulled the plug on the deal.

Sproule went on to become a cult hero at Easter Road, and was part of the Hibees 2007 Scottish League Cup winning side, and also played in the Uefa Cup against Ukranian side Dnipro and captured his first Northern Ireland cap.

Such was his form, that Uefa Cup opponents Dnipro offered the Hibees £1m for him after they clashed, which the club turned down.

Hibs sold the electric paced winger to Bristol City in 2007 in a £500,000 deal.

After 4 years in Bristol, that included loan spells with Yeovil Town and Notts County, Sproule returned to Hibs in 2011.

Sproule spent a further 2 years at Easter Road, playing over 50 games, that seen him make over 120 games and score 20 goals over his two spells before moving to Ross County last year.

Hibs-Mad would like to wish Ivan all the very best at his new club. He will be always be welcome down Leith.

Another ex Hibee in the news today is hitman Garry O'Connor.

The former Lokomotiv Moscow and Birmingham City player has been out of the game for a while, following his much publicised personal problems, but has been handed a career lifieline.

Scottish Championship side Morton have offered O'Connor the chance to win a move to the club, with a trial period.

The 30-year-old has been without a club since leaving Russian side Tom Tomsk in December last year.

O'Connor broke through the Hibees youth system, and formed a deadly partnership with Derek Riordan that led to him winning a £1.6m move to Lokomotiv Moscow in 2006.

He spent 18 months in Russia, the highlight being scoring the winning goal in the Russian Cup Final, before moving to Permiership side Birmingham City in a £2.8m deal in 2007.

4 years were spent in Birmingham, which included two loan spells at Barnsley.

Barnsley then signed him on a permanent deal in January 2011.

Things quickly turned sour for the Scotland striker, and he moved back to Easter Road that summer.

O'Connor arrived back at Easter Road, and quickly picked up where he left off, banging in the goals in the green and white.

He finished the season with 16 goals in 36 appearances.

O'Connor left Easter Road again after only one season back in Edinburgh, and soon found himself back in Russia with Tom Tomsk.

He played over 170 games for Hibs over two spells, scoring over 70 goals in the process.

O'Connor has been capped 16 times for Scotland and scored 4 goals.

Good luck to Garry.

Source: Hibees-Mad


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