David Gray is hopeful of extending his remarkable adventure with Hibs after finally finding contentment at Easter Road.
The 28-year-old is out of contract next summer but after enjoying the best period of his career since Alan Stubbs brought him north from England two years ago, the captain and Scottish Cup final hero insists he’d love to stay on.
“I’m in the last year of my contract, but I’m really enjoying it and if there’s an opportunity to stay, I’ve got no intention of going anywhere,” Gray said. “Being out of contract is part and parcel of football. I’ve dealt with it all my career. The most important thing is that you play as well as you can, and if you take care of that side of things, then running out of contract shouldn’t be an issue.”
After living away from his family and struggling to generate any sustained career momentum in England since a serious injury hit his hopes of making it at Manchester United as a youngster, Roslin boy Gray has been revitalised by returning to Scotland in 2014.
“My family life away from football has been fantastic over the last two years,” he said. “When I was down south, me and [fiancée] Hayley moved around a lot so it was hard to get settled. This is the first time I’ve really felt settled in my career. Having two young kids, it helps having family around. I’m enjoying everything about being at Hibs. Being captain of such a big club and being back home, close to friends and family, it ticks every box.”
Returning north has allowed Gray’s parents, Elaine and Peter, to attend all his matches, unlike when he was in England. “My family are happy that I’m back up here,” he said. “My parents have only missed about one game since I came to Hibs. When I was in England, it wasn’t easy for them to come and watch me every week, and my dad really missed coming to watch my games. My mum never used to be as much involved in my football when I was younger because she would tend to do things with my sister and my dad would drive me all around the country, but now that I’m back playing football in Scotland, and doing it for a job, she’s really enjoying following me around and taking an interest in my football career.”