Liam Fontaine explained that the positivity around Easter Road under popular head coach Alan Stubbs was key to him signing a new two-year deal with Hibs.
The defender enjoyed a successful spell with the Edinburgh club after joining last August following his departure from Bristol City.
Following Hibs’ Premiership play-off defeat by Rangers last month, there was concern among supporters that the influential centre-back would choose to head for pastures new.
Fontaine was the subject of interest from elsewhere. However, he finally confirmed yesterday that, following a highly enjoyable time under Stubbs last term, he would be returning to the Capital to help try and win promotion at the second attempt.
“This was always my preferred option. I’ve been always my preferred option. I’ve been away on holiday with my family and so I’m just delighted it is done and I am back. I had a couple of other options, that was always going to be the case. But in my heart of hearts I always wanted to come back here and continue what we started.
“I spoke to the gaffer at the end of the season and he told me of his intentions and we have been speaking to each other throughout the summer. It’s all positive, and I wanted to be a part of that. I think he’s a great guy and a great manager and the feeling amongst everyone here is great.”
Fontaine feels a sense of unfinished business over Hibs’ failure to get promoted last season and believes they can make amends this time round.
“When you do anything in your life you set a goal you want to achieve and I’d like to do that in my time here,” he continued. “I think we have to be confident. What we showed last year was impressive. Ok, we didn’t go up, but I think what we’ve done so far is very good. And with the gaffer bringing in the signings he has done, and I’m guessing there will be more to come, that will stand us in good stead for next season. I came in quite late as well so I didn’t get to any pre-season with the lads. That probably costs us because we didn’t pick up that many points at the start of the season. If we can start well this season and hopefully sustain the levels we produced throughout last season we’re going to be up there.”
Fontaine feels there is an inescapable feelgood factor around Hibs. “It was enjoyable last season,” he said. “I had a great time here and I really loved being part of it. I loved the support we received and the support I received personally. It was enjoyable to be aiming for something, it’s what I play games for and I want to achieve things.
“Of course it hurts that we didn’t go up but we can’t change anything, it happened and we didn’t go up. Now we have to have that hunger and desire to really achieve things this year. If we can do a real good pre-season and get off to a good start that will be important.”