Kevin McBRIDE today insisted he was relishing the prospect of going from "zero to hero" after quitting Easter Road to join title-chasing Raith Rovers.
The midfield star made the switch to the First Division outfit, who are two points clear at the top of the table with seven games remaining, after being told by Hibs boss Colin Calderwood he wouldn't be offered a new contract when his current deal expired at the end of the season.
McBride agreed a short-term deal with Rovers after meeting Stark's Park manager John McGlynn – and his first game for the Kirkcaldy side will be away to his old club Falkirk this weekend with the Bairns desperately trying to keep their own promotion hopes alive.
Signed by ex-Hibs boss John Hughes in the summer of 2009, McBride was an integral member of the side which claimed a fourth-place finish and a Europa League berth last season, but he fell out of favour after Calderwood took over the Easter Road hotseat last October.
Having found appearances a rarity, McBride admitted he was now simply looking forward to playing as many games as possible for Rovers and, hopefully, helping them achieve their goal of promotion to the SPL.
He told the Evening News: "Like any player all I want to do is play football but I was nowhere near it although I was in training hard every day.
"This is a chance to go and enjoy my football and to hopefully help the boys at Raith who have done all the hard work get over the finishing line. It's an exciting time for them, the chance of big things for the club and the players.
"I noticed right away that my first match could be at Falkirk on Saturday, it's just one of those strange things that football always seems to throw up. I'm sure I'll get a good reception from the Falkirk fans!"
McBride refused to look beyond the end of this season, insisting: "I'm simply going to concentrate on playing as much as I can with Raith and then see what happens. But this is also a chance for me to remind people that I'm still around. When you aren't playing, as I was at Hibs, it's easy to find yourself forgotten."
One of a long list of players facing an uncertain future with their contracts running McBride insisted he was leaving Hibs with no ill-feeling. He said: "I enjoyed my time at Easter Road. Finishing fourth and getting into Europe for the first time in many years was an achievement. I don't bear any grudges, that's what happens in football, things turn around very quickly."
Meanwhile, Hibs today declared themselves "delighted" as fans rushed to take advantage of their offer of an interest free payment plan to help them buy their season tickets.
Supporters can spread the price of a ticket over 11 months at no extra cost but they face a rush to beat tomorrow's 5pm deadline. Pointing to how 70 season tickets were sold in the first hour of business yesterday alone, Fyfe Hyland, the club's director of communications and marketing, said: "I am delighted with the speed at which they are going."
A renewed sense of optimism for the future following a run of six matches unbeaten, five of them victories, has undoubtedly helped but Hyland insisted the extended payment plan, the fact the vast majority of prices had been frozen at this season's level and 19 tickets for children had helped, as had the impact of the six new players signed by Calderwood during the January transfer window.
He said: "I think the supporters can see the manager and everyone at the club working as hard as we can to get a winning team on the park. We are all in it together, we cannot do what we need to do until the supporters do what they can do and I think everyone realises the more season tickets we sell, the bigger the budget for the manager to invest in new players, it's a simple formula and equation."