Jason Cummings has no regrets about leaving Hibernian when he did, saying he was too comfortable at the Easter Road club and needed to challenge himself.
In the three seasons since departing Leith, the striker has struggled to hold down a regular starting place, while playing for five different clubs, but the ebullient 24-year-old has deposited many memorable moments and says even the adversity has proved useful.
“I’m just not the kind of guy who could have stayed with Hibs my whole life. I just didn’t want to do that.
“I was in a comfort zone at Hibs and it was brilliant and I did love it; winning the Scottish Cup and scoring all those goals and playing every week. But I was a young lad and it got to the point, where I was 21, and I felt I had to try somewhere else, try a higher level and try to progress. I have absolutely no regrets.”
Halfway through a two-year deal at League One side Shrewsbury Town, the player, who is back up in Edinburgh to wait out the coronavirus lockdown and has been trying to fill his time and keep his followers entertained with amusing viral clips and madcap instagram challenges, says the experiences of the past few years have helped him evolve as a player and a person.
He left Hibs in 2017 for a big-money move to Nottingham Forest and has since had loan spells at Rangers, Peterborough and Luton before signing for the Shrews.
“Some clubs it worked out and some clubs it never but the experience I have gained and the players and team-mates I’ve met, as well as all the different places I have lived, and games I have played in have made it worth it,” said Cummings. “I have played in Old Firm games, I have played against Chelsea and I have played against Liverpool. If I had stayed at Hibs all my life, I would have missed those opportunities.”
And having gone through relegation, the historic Scottish Cup win and then promotion he felt there was little left to sample in the green and white.
“My time at Hibs was successful but I am not a player who will just relax in a comfort zone. I felt I couldn’t prove myself much more at Hibs. I wanted to test myself in different places. So, even if I could turn back time, I would do exactly the same and try different clubs.
“I feel I have done well but sometimes it is a lot of luck as well and comes down to whether you connect with the manager or connect with the club or like where you are staying if you have to move away.
“Not many players will say it or be honest about it but the best money is down south as well and it is a short career. If you stay at the same club when you are being offered more somewhere else then that’s your choice but I think you’ve got to make the most of your career.
“Look at John McGinn. He left Hibs as well and he is playing in the Premier League and he is a zillionaire now! He’s a good example of why you should move when the time is right.”