I had to leave Hibs, says former winger Ivan Sproule

IVAN SPROULE admits he had no option but to call time on his second spell with his beloved Hibs as he felt his career was stagnating due to a lack of game time.

The Northern Irish winger has signed an 18-month contract at Ross County after becoming a bit-part player at Easter Road.

Sproule established himself as a fans’ favourite during his first spell at Hibs when he scored 18 goals – including a famous hat-trick in a 3-0 win away to Rangers – between 2005 and 2007.

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Hopes were high among the Easter Road faithful when Colin Calderwood brought him back to Edinburgh in summer 2011 after a spell in England.

However, things did not go as planned second time round, with the 31-year-old making only two starts this season, the last of which came in the 3-0 defeat at Inverness early last month.

Sproule, who joined his new County team-mates as they jetted out to Spain this morning for a four-day training break, said: “I know there was a bit of talk about possible moves in the summer, but I didn’t want to be hanging around in the stands for another six months.

“I am 31 now and want to be involved and contributing every week. I haven’t been able to do that this season and it has been frustrating.

“I knew Derek Adams from his time at Hibs and I liked what he had to say. There’s a good atmosphere and a great set-up up there. It’s a beautiful part of the country and I’m looking forward to getting my wife and kids up there.”