Hibs: Campbell confirms Ostersunds FK switch

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HIBS striker Ross Campbell today confirmed he has signed for Swedish club Ostersunds FK after he and midfield star Joe Keenan were told by boss John Hughes they were free to leave Easter Road.

Hughes had informed the pair they weren't part of his plans although both still had a year remaining of their contracts and that he wouldn't stand in their way if they could find a new club.

Former Scotland Under-21 hitman Campbell quickly found himself in demand, signing a short-term deal with the Swedish outfit where former Hearts midfielder Lee Makel is player/coach.

Campbell, now 22, made just four starts for Hibs in as many seasons and enjoyed a mere nine minutes of first team action last season. And with Irish kid Kurtis Byrne making the breakthrough to challenge Colin Nish, Derek Riordan and Jonatan Johansson up-front, it was clear he'd struggle to command a place.

Having signed Patrick Cregg, Kevin McBride, Daniel Galbraith and Graham Stack, Hughes had warned he simply couldn't continue to "bring, bring, bring" without others heading for the Easter Road exit door.

Campbell has become the first to head in that direction but Hughes has indicated that in addition to him and Keenan there could be others regarded as surplus to requirements as he continues to reshape his squad.

He said: "I had a word with Ross and Joe and told them they were not going to be in my plans, there's nothing personal, it's unfortunate but that's football.

"There will be another one or two as we go along.

"My vision of where I want to take this club long term will involve constantly shuffling the pack. I'm constantly assessing and re-assessing.

"I was I not going to lead them up the garden path, I have been honest enough to tell them they could look for another club."

Former Chelsea youth player Keenan, signed from Australian club Melbourne Victory last summer, made just 16 appearances, only ten of them from the start, and with John Rankin, Lewis Stevenson, Ian Murray, Derek Riordan, Lee Currie and Galbraith all capable of playing on the left, Hughes feels he is over-loaded on that side of the field.

Although Campbell played in the Under-20 World Cup for Scotland two years ago, he's struggled to establish himself as a first team regular during his time at Easter Road, unable to force his way beyond the bench last season during the course of which he spent a short spell on loan with Dunfermline.

Campbell and Keenan were left behind as Hibs travelled to Ireland to play Glentoran and Shamrock Rovers last weekend despite Hughes naming a squad of 22 for the trip.

The Hibs boss said: "Joe is an absolutely fantastic, lovely guy, a real professional and Ross is a great wee striker.

"Both impressed me with their attitude but as manager I had to be totally honest with them and give them the chance to find another club where, hopefully, they will get regular first team football."