He sensed it was coming, but after 13 years at Easter Road, being told he had no future at Hibs didn’t make it any easier for David Gold.
However, in one of those quirks of fate football is so adept at throwing up, the 21-year-old will find himself facing his boyhood club when Alan Stubbs takes Hibs to Shielfield Park on Saturday for their second pre-season match against Berwick Rangers, Gold’s new outfit.
It will be the midfielder’s home debut, a game in which he’s desperate to shine, not for the sake of proving a point to anyone at the Capital club, but purely for his own satisfaction.
One of a lengthy list of youngsters who departed Hibs in the wake of relegation, Gold admits his one big regret was never getting the chance he felt he merited.
He said: “I really enjoyed my time at Hibs, but this is the next chapter in my career and I need to prove something for myself. I anticipated what was going to happen to me. Things hadn’t gone well at the club, the team should have done so much better, and I think it was clear the gaffer was going to have a clearout.
“I never got a chance, to be honest. You work hard with the hope of getting promoted to the first team, but it didn’t happen.”
Gold, who spent last season on loan at Queen’s Park and then Cowdenbeath, could point to a surfeit of central midfielders at Hibs as one reason for the lack of opportunity, with Kevin Thomson, Liam Craig, Scott Robertson, Tom Taiwo and Owain Tudur Jones in the ranks.
Their presence gave Gold precious little opportunity to impress, but while disappointed, the youngster has adopted a philosophical approach. He said: “Perhaps some of us needed a fresh start. I’d been at Hibs for 13 years, it was virtually all that I’d known, so while it hurt to be told I could go, maybe it’s going to be good to have a different experience.
“I enjoyed my spells on loan at Queen’s Park and Cowdenbeath, I’d got the chance of playing first-team football at both of those clubs and having had that experience, you want more of it.”
Having joined Berwick boss Colin Cameron’s squad simply to get a proper pre-season under his belt, Gold found himself being offered a year-long deal which he signed following a bounce match with Falkirk at the weekend.
He said: “I got the chance to train with Berwick, being with other players doing pre-sesaon is so much better than heading for the gym by yourself and hitting the treadmill. After the second session Colin Cameron told me what he thought of me and asked what I would be doing with myself. At that point I didn’t want to rush into anything – my agent was still speaking to a number of clubs.
“But I really enjoyed the training and at this stage of my career I just want to get out and play games and enjoy myself, The gaffer told me how he wants to play with a versatility which will see us start with one formation and change within games as he sees fit, and he believes that will suit me.”
Gold also got the thumbs up from ex-Hibs goalkeeper Paul Grant who had enjoyed a loan spell with the League Two club while he found familiar faces in former Easter Road kids Steven Notman and Dean Carse.
He said: “Paul spoke highly of Berwick so, all in all, I found it was an easy decision to make.
“It’s going to be a bit strange, though, playing against Hibs. I still chat regularly with the likes of Jordon Forster, Danny Handling and Alex Harris, but it’s more as pals than talking nothing but football.
“I’m looking forward to playing against them but I just want to put on a good performance. I’d love to do well for my self pride more than anything. I felt I should have got a shot at Hibs.
“But I don’t believe I’ve got anything to prove. Alan Stubbs had nothing to do with the decisions that were made in releasing so many players. It’s a new era at Hibs and hopefully one that will see the club become successful once again.”