The 31-year-old Hungarian was in command of the gloves for the first half of last season after moving to Easter Road on a year-long loan from Liverpool last summer, at a time when Ofir Marciano was recovering from injury. However, he suffered a head knock when he went down at the feet of Elgin City striker Chris McLeish towards the end of a routine Scottish Cup victory in late January.
This ultimately proved to be Bogdan’s last act in a Hibs jersey as he spent the next two months battling the wearying effects of concussion while the fit-again Marciano excelled in his absence. When the on-loan goalkeeper eventually returned to contention at the start of April, Marciano had done enough to retain the gloves, meaning Bogdan had to be content with an unused substitute role for the closing seven matches of what was an otherwise fulfilling spell at Easter Road.
“My time at Hibs was going really well until I got the injury and then Ofir started to do really well and I couldn’t get back into the team,” he told the Evening News. “It wasn’t an easy injury to deal with because it was a concussion so I didn’t know how long it was going to last. I tried to come back a couple of times and I was on the bench a few times (in February) but I kept having to step back a bit because I was still feeling the effects of the concussion. Overall I was out for almost two months.
“It sounds unusual to be out for two months with concussion but I spoke to other people who it had happened to. There’s no particular solution for it. It can go away quickly or it can last even longer – that’s the hard bit of concussion, you just can’t tell how long you’re going to have it. The best way to describe it is that you don’t feel yourself. You know something is not right. You’re very tired and you can’t really plan ahead. Anything you need to use your head for, to focus, to concentrate, to plan, it becomes hard. It stopped me being able to train.”
Although the concussion had a ruinous effect on the second half of his season, Bogdan is able to reflect on his time at Hibs in a positive light. “It could have been better if I didn’t get injured but overall it was a great time,” he said. “We finished the season in a good position. We reached our minimum goal to be in the top six and finished above Hearts. Overall I think it was a good season.
Both Neil Lennon and Paul Heckingbottom were good for Hibs at different times. We were successful with Neil and then we had a dip in form. Then Heckingbottom took over and the team responded really well and we got results and we ended up in a good position.
“I particularly enjoyed the Europa League qualifier against Asteras Tripolis in Greece last summer. That was a good game and it was good for us to get through to the next round. Then around Christmas time we had the two draws at home and away to Rangers. Those three games were probably my most memorable, but it was a highlight just to spend a season in the dressing-room with these lads. The players, the coaches, the fans, the city, everything was good. Edinburgh is a beautiful city, with loads of things to do, not just for myself but also for my family. It’s been a really good year.”