JAMES COLLINS today cut short his Hibs career by rejoining Shrewsbury Town.
The 23-year-old striker, who still had two years left on his Easter Road deal, was informed by the relegated Hibees that they would not stand in his way if he could fix himself up with employment elsewhere.
And former club Shrewsbury, who have just been relegated to Skybet League Two, have provided Collins with the chance to reignite his career after an underwhelming season in Edinburgh. He has signed a two-year deal at New Meadow.
The ex-Aston Villa youngster becomes the 15th player to be offloaded by Hibs as they undergo a major rebuild ahead of what they hope will be a Championship promotion push next season.
Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster said: “We wish James well for the future. It’s a part of our work to refresh the squad for what will be a challenging season.”
Collins arrived at Easter Road amid a sense of expectation last July after former boss Pat Fenlon splashed out a six-figure sum to bring him north from Swindon Town following a season in which he had scored 18 times.
However, burdened by the pressure of following in the footsteps of fans’ favourite Leigh Griffiths, the forward failed to set the heather alight at Hibs where he scored just six goals in 40 appearances. He struggled particularly badly in the closing months of the season as the team nose-dived towards relegation, with his last goals in green and white coming in a 3-2 home defeat by St Mirren in mid-January.
Hibs have decided to cut their losses on Collins and will not receive a fee for his services.
The former Ireland Under-21 player will be hoping to get his career back on track at Shrewsbury where he enjoyed a successful season and a half between January 2011 and May 2012 before earning his move to Swindon.