Sproule hopes for Hibs return after facing the axe in Bristol

Former Hibs star Ivan Sproule today admitted he wouldn't turn down the chance of a return to Easter Road after learning his days with Bristol City are numbered.

The flying winger has fallen down the pecking order at Ashton Gate and is currently on loan with English League One outfit Yeovil Town.

Sproule is in the final year of his contract with the Robins but has been told he won't be offered a new deal in the summer with City boss Keith Millen under pressure to trim a squad that numbers 36 full-time professionals.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Although Sproule was a member of the City side beaten by Hull in the 2008 Premier League play-off at Wembley and a first team regular during much of his time in Bristol, he has made only four starts since the manager who signed him, Gary Johnson, departed in March. As such, Sproule is keen to use the January transfer window to secure his longer-term future elsewhere, with City said to be willing to allow the Northern Ireland internationalist, signed three years ago for 500,000, to go for a modest fee.

The news has prompted speculation in the West Country that Sproule, bought by former boss Tony Mowbray from Irish side Institute for a mere 5000, could return to Edinburgh where he helped Hibs win the CIS Insurance Cup in 2007.

Sproule is well aware of the gossip, but while insisting that's as far as it has gone and that he's keeping his options open, he told the Evening News he'd be all ears if an approach was made by Hibs boss Colin Calderwood.

The 29-year-old said: "I knew if I was going to leave Bristol City this was always going to come up. I've had a fantastic time here, it's a fantastic club but I have to look after by own future and that of my family.

"Everyone knows Hibs are a club that will always be close to my heart. They gave me a chance in football, made my career. I've very fond memories of my time in Edinburgh. Everyone at the club made us welcome, I always gave 100 per cent when I played and I was lucky enough to be in a team which won something.

"I've never hidden my love for the club or the fact I am a Hibs supporter. You never know where you are going to end up in football but I will always be grateful to Hibs.

"It wouldn't rule out moving back to Easter Road but that's in the hands of others, not mine. I still feel I have a lot to offer but for the moment I'm simply concentrating on getting myself as fit as I can for January."