LIAM Craig believes Hibernian are getting him as he enters the peak years of his career. The 26-year-old joined up with his new Easter Road team-mates for the first time earlier this week after penning a pre-contract way back in January.
The former Falkirk midfielder has confessed he felt like a lad on his first day at school as he began pre-season training with Hibs after five years with St Johnstone.
However, he is determined to ensure he does not slip into the shadows at Hibs after building a reputation as a reliable and creative player capable of chipping in with the 37 goals he scored during his spell in Perth.
And, after an impressive last campaign with Saints, the one-time Ipswich Town trainee is convinced he is ready to scale the heights with Hibs.
He said: “It just came to a time in my career where I was looking to move on from St Johnstone and when I heard Hibs were interested I thought it was definitely the move for me. When I looked at the training facilities, the stadium and just the club as a whole it was definitely where I wanted to play. I signed the pre-contract right away more or less, and I’m delighted to be here and now I’m just looking to get started.
“I’d like to think [I’m reaching my peak]. I’ve just turned 26 and I think I’m getting to that stage in my career where I really want to kick on.
“The club’s steeped in history and you just want to play your part, and that’s what I’ve come here looking to do.
“Obviously, the club has been to two cup finals in the last two years and now we’ve qualified for Europe, and it’s just taking that next step now and I want to play a big part in that.”
Craig has approached his move with the kind of enthusiasm that will have delighted manager Pat Fenlon.
He added on Hibernian TV: “I knew Paul Hanlon, who was on loan at St Johnstone a few years back, and I knew one or two others. But it’s still your first day at a new club – it’s like your first day at school, if you like, you’re quiet. But everyone’s made me feel welcome.
“I’ve really enjoyed the first week and I’m now just looking forward to the games.”
Meanwhile, freed Hearts youngster Fraser Mullen is hoping to conclude a deal to move across the city to Hibs. The 19-year-old full-back, who broke his foot playing against Hibs last season, claims to have undergone a medical at Easter Road but sources at the club have indicated there remains some way to go before he puts pen to paper.
He said: “Hopefully everything goes okay with the medical, so we’ll see what happens. I’ve not got a clue when things will get tied up.”