TOM SOARES today admitted that he has no idea what the future holds for him after being released by Stoke City.
But the midfielder, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Easter Road, revealed that he would welcome the offer of a return to Hibs.
Soares was one of a host of players signed by Pat Fenlon on temporary deals in January, although the majority of them will not be returning to Edinburgh for the 2012-13 season.
Hibs are believed to be interested in bringing James McPake and Leigh Griffiths back to the club for the new campaign and Soares could yet join them, if Fenlon feels that is a route he wants to take. Soares is keeping his options open and the 25-year-old said: “I don’t know what the future holds for me, not at all, but my agent has got a few things lined up for me so hopefully I will get something sorted in the next few weeks.
“I don’t want to rush into anything, I need to be sure that wherever I go it is the right move for me. The stage of my career that I am at, I think my next move is going to be my most important.
“It’s important to get my career up and running again and it’s just a case of waiting now and seeing what option is going to be the best one for me.”
Although he hasn’t had any contact from Hibs since the last day of the season, he would be open to a return and added: “After the cup final, the club had an end-of-season meal and obviously everyone was still a bit fed up. I went up to the manager and shook his hand and just wished him all the best for the future and to thank him for the time that he gave me at the club.
“He said that he would be in touch but I know that it is difficult for him because he might want to take the club in a different direction. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. If that option was there for me, then of course I would be interested, but I haven’t spoken to anyone from Hibs over the last few weeks.
“If they were to get in contact with me then it would be something that I would definitely think about. I enjoyed my time there and my main priority now is making sure that I am back playing regularly with the right club, enjoying my football again.
“It all depends on what clubs come in for me and what I think would be beneficial for myself but I enjoyed my time in Scotland, it is a beautiful country.”
While his time at Easter Road ended on the sour note of the Scottish Cup Final defeat to Hearts last month, Soares believes that his spell in Scotland has been beneficial for his own career and he was pleased that he was able to help Hibs achieve their main aim – to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
“Being at Hibs was good for me because I played a bit of football, although I had a bit of bad luck with injuries and hadn’t played football for quite a while before I moved there.
“I had just really come back to full fitness when I signed for Hibs and then I picked up one or two injuries while I was there. Obviously the season didn’t end very well for us with the cup final defeat and everything. Obviously everyone, the players and the fans, were really disappointed with the way that game went but when I came to the club the main thing was to keep Hibs in the league and we did that.
“Winning the final would have been a great bonus for us but things just didn’t go to plan that day.
“Apart from that, I thought that things went pretty well for me when I was up there.”
Soares conceded that the early weeks of his spell at Hibs were difficult ones, simply because of the number of new faces who had been brought into the club on temporary deals.
Griffiths and McPake were joined by Pa Kujabi, Jorge Claros, George Francomb, Matt Doherty and Roy O’Donovan during the January window and Soares admitted that is took a little time for them all to gel, continuing: “At the start of my time in Edinburgh, there were a lot of new players at the club and it was quite difficult for everyone to gel together – and a lot of results just weren’t going our way.
“But, to be fair to us, I think that we managed to get along together and understand one another’s games quite well, quite quickly.
“Once we had gelled, things picked up towards the end of the season; we were playing better football and getting a few good results, although obviously we had to wait until quite late on to make sure that we would be staying in the Premier League.”
And Soares, who signed for Stoke for £1.25million in 2008 but struggled in the Potteries, added: “I thought that the fans were brilliant.
“The last game of the season at home was just amazing and it just got you thinking what might have been had we been able to give them that little bit more throughout the season.
“I think that they helped us out massively in terms of avoiding relegation and they were brilliant with me the whole time that I was there.
“I don’t blame them for not turning out in numbers like that for the other games because, to be honest, I wouldn’t have wanted to have gone along to watch us either!
“At the end of the day, for a while, we weren’t very good but things definitely picked up towards the end of the season.”