Marvin Bartley hated keeping his Hibs exit a secret

Marvin Bartley expects his Easter Road farewell against Aberdeen to be an emotional one. Picture: SNS
Marvin Bartley expects his Easter Road farewell against Aberdeen to be an emotional one. Picture: SNS
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Marvin Bartley has revealed that he would love to return to Hibs as manager one day.

The midfielder, who helped the Leith club exorcise their Scottish Cup demons in 2016 and played his part in the club’s return to the top flight the following year, is moving on to Livingston next season and although he says he is excited by the new challenge, he admitted that tomorrow’s Easter Road farewell will be an emotional one.

“I will miss everyone. From the people in the kit room, the video department… I will miss everyone in this building and everyone who works at the stadium,” he said. “They all do a magnificent job and it is like being part of a family here.”

Which is why he found it so difficult to keep his proposed switch quiet as he thrashed out a contract with Gary Holt.

“It was hard and [when the news came out] Lewis Stevenson came up to me and said ‘how long have you known about that?’ and I had to tell him the truth but I explained that I couldn’t tell the lads. He said he understood, but keeping that from them has been hard. They are my work colleagues but they are also my friends and I actually class them as family. So to be going through that and speaking about it with the gaffer but not telling them, it has been hard. I don’t want them to think that I had been deceiving them so I went on to the group chat and explained it all to the boys. Martin Boyle just said he couldn’t wait to kick me out the group chat!”

While he joked that he will not miss Flo Kamberi’s singing, and is looking forward to taking his mate Boyle down when the sides go head-to-head next term, the 32-year-old, who eschews the interference of agents and negotiated his own three-year deal with the West Lothian club, says the fact he can combine playing with coaching the reserves at Livingston was a significant draw, as was the proximity to the capital, which will allow him to remain in Edinburgh.

“I did have options from England and I could have earned a bit more money but I’m happy here in my day-to-day life and that outweighs going somewhere else and earning more.

“I want to play for as long as I can, as well as getting my A Licence. I’m also doing a football management course at Napier University along with a few of the other Hibs boys. It’s all the other sides of the game away from coaching and I’m interested in that.

“But once I’ve completed all of that I’ll be back knocking on [head of football operations] George Craig’s door and saying: ‘Can I have a job mate?’ ”