Jordon Forster watched one of the greatest days in Hibs’ history unfold from a flat in Plymouth which was his temporary home for the second half of last season.
For the central defender, his sense of dislocation from the joy being savoured by his parent club and their supporters as the Scottish Cup was won for the first time in 114 years was difficult to bear.
“I definitely feel I missed out,” admitted Forster who yesterday signed a new two-year contract at Hibs.
“I was so happy for the players, for them as friends. It was brilliant to see. But on the flip side, I’d be lying to say I didn’t sit for a couple of days afterwards and feel down that I wasn’t there to experience such an achievement from my team and club.
“That was difficult. It was unbelievable for the boys and some of the stories they’ve been telling me about it have been incredible. It was hard for me not to be a part of it.
“I watched the final in my flat in Plymouth, along with Gregg Wylde who used to be at Rangers. There was a bit of banter between us, but to be honest I’d rather have just watched it on my own.”
Forster’s loan spell with Plymouth Argyle ended in disappointment a week after the Scottish Cup final when he appeared as a substitute in the League Two play-off final defeat by AFC Wimbledon at Wembley.
“That was another disappointment, but hundreds of thousands of players go through it all over the world,” added the 22-year-old, who yesterday signed a new two-year contract at Easter Road.
“They’ll have a setback and then another setback and another setback and another until something good happens.
“It was a tough couple of weeks for me, but I managed to get away on holiday and clear my head and come back fresh.
“It will definitely drive me on now for next season with Hibs. Not just having missed out on the Scottish Cup final, but what I learned from being away from home for five or six months.”
Forster had dropped down the central defensive pecking order at Hibs under Alan Stubbs but new manager Neil Lennon believes the former Celtic youth player can revitalise his career at the club.
“Jordon gives me something a bit different in that position,” said Lennon. “He is quite a dominant centre-half. He’s still quite raw, he needs a bit of polishing off, but he’s still young. He has good attributes which we will need in the Championship.
“I knew of him when he was a kid at Celtic, although not personally. I’ve liked what I’ve seen so far of him.
“He has come through the ranks at Hibs. There is a familiarity here he is comfortable with. I think we can make him better.
“He has an opportunity to play here now and has the physical attributes we are looking for. It’s not a decision we took lightly, we gave it some thought. I feel he is very powerful, he’s a man and we have lacked that in the team at times, especially away from home.
“He can dominate the ball in both boxes. That’s a good start for me. I spoke to Plymouth manager Derek Adams at length about him and he has good things to say about him as well. So it was just a case of some re-negotiating on his contract.
“I had a chat with Jordon and told him it’s a clean slate here now. It’s down to him now to take that opportunity. We want him here. He liked what we said. If he is fit and performing, then he will be playing.”
Lennon, meanwhile, was at a loss to explain claims from Southend United manager Phil Brown that Hibs goalkeeper Mark Oxley was poised to sign for the English club.
“Mark is still here at the moment, there is no change there,” said Lennon. “There is always going to be a bit of speculation at this time of year, but he has been in training and hasn’t really mentioned anything to me on it. I don’t know if he will still be here at the start of the season. But we are actively looking for another goalkeeper, because Conrad Logan has left. So we are in the market, but there’s no big rush at the minute.
“We’ve got Ross Laidlaw in from Raith Rovers and are having a good look at him. He has shown up quite well. He played a bounce game on Saturday and came through it okay.
“He has trained well but we are still actively looking for another goalkeeper anyway.”
Hibs play their first pre-season friendly against Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park tonight with new striker Grant Holt expected to feature at some stage.