Former Hibs defender Liam Fontaine loving life in the Capital again with FC Edinburgh

Upon departing Hibs a Scottish Cup legend 18 months on from that historic day at Hampden in 2016, Liam Fontaine admits he hadn't envisaged a return to the Capital.

But FC Edinburgh's rise up the divisions has afforded the 36-year-old central defender the opportunity to still play at a high level while building up a sustainable business.

Fontaine agreed a deal with Alan Maybury's men following his release from relegated Dundee in the summer and has already racked up 12 appearances in league and cup in a Citizens jersey.

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The Meadowbank outfit have had a fine start to life in Scottish football's third tier, the standout result a 6-0 hammering of Airdrie earlier this month.

FC Edinburgh's Liam Fontaine

And Fonts, as he is more affectionately known, is loving life on and off the pitch having just started up his own football academy offering youngsters group and one-to-one sessions.

"The chance to join Edinburgh was a great opportunity to come back to the central belt, but it's also a really exciting time to be a part of the club with the plans," Fontaine told the Evening News. "I'm turning 37 in January but I still feel as fit as ever and motivated to play league football.

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"FC Edinburgh fits in with exactly what I want to do at this juncture in my career. There were other options on the table, including staying full-time, but the project the club is trying to build, I want to be a part of.

"I've got my eye on the other side of my playing career too. I've got coaching aspirations, I've got my licence already, UEFA A qualified, so I can dip my toes in that as well as I've just launched my own football academy so I am trying to build that up.

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Liam Fontaine provides the Capital club with a wealth of experience

"I'm really enjoying it so far. The last couple of results have been a bit dodgy but we've started this season well. We have got a really talented squad and although we're a part-time team, we have that full-time mentality. Our time on the pitch to work on things is limited but we're doing everything we can. We've maybe been a bit naive against the full-time clubs, they probably are sharper, fitter but we have to find ways as a team to negate that and make it more of a level playing field.

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"I always think it's better to get as many points as you can earlier on in the season because then you're not chasing your tails. We had it at Dundee last year and we ended up relegated. We were performing okay but we weren't getting the results."

Fontaine was delighted to see former team-mate Ryan Porteous, who had a loan spell with the Citizens in 2016, excel in his Scotland debut against Ukraine on Tuesday.

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He said: "I know Porto very well from my time at Hibs as he was breaking through just as I was on my way out. The guy is an all-in player. He gives everything he's got every time he steps on the pitch. Critics are going to say what they think but I think it's testament to him that the hard work he's put in is what's got him involved with Scotland. He would have known all eyes were on him the other night but I think his performance silenced quite a few. He's very passionate and some people love it, others don't."