Former Hibernian striker Garry O’Connor admits he harbours hopes of returning to Easter Road as manager after vowing to realise his coaching potential.
The 32-year-old was confirmed as manager of Lowland League outfit Selkirk on Sunday following the departure of Steve Forrest – and is determined to “prove a few people wrong” by rising through the divisions.
O’Connor remains in contact with Hibs chairman Rod Petrie, academy manager Eddie May, while his son, Josh, is part of the Hibs youth system.
The former Scotland international would love to one day earn a place in the dugout at Hibs, where he scored 74 goals over two spells.
“My ambition would be to come back to Hibs,” said O’Connor, who is studying for his UEFA ‘B’ coaching licence. “Whether as a manager or assistant, to be back at a club you love is always an aspiration. You can never rule anything out in football, it’s a crazy world. I still speak to a lot of people at Hibs. I still chat to Rod Petrie, I am very friendly with him. I talk to Eddie May and all the coaches – my wee man [Josh] is in their academy.
“I still go in and see Tam and Joyce [McCourt], the kit staff, for a coffee. As well as Hibs, I still have contacts and friends south of the border in the Premier League, so you never know what the future holds. I’m ambitious. Selkirk is a stepping stone in the right direction and I am focused on putting a good team on the pitch and trying to compete in the Lowland League.”
Despite racking up 16 international caps, scoring the winning goal in a Russian Cup final and plying his trade in the English Premier League, O’Connor knows many will view him as one of Scottish football’s great unfulfilled talents.
“I maybe could have done more. I made some wrong choices, on and off the pitch,” said O’Connor. “But that part of my life is done and there’s nothing I can do about it now.”