Jordon Forster will take inspiration from Hibs’ Scottish Cup triumph as he bids to help Plymouth Argyle to victory in Monday’s League One Play-Off final against AFC Wimbledon.
The 22-year-old, who joined the Pilgrims on loan in January after struggling to command game time at Easter Road, is relishing the chance to secure promotion to England’s third tier when he makes his first-ever trip to Wembley.
Forster admitted to a touch of envy as he watched Hibs beat Rangers in last Saturday’s Scottish Cup final on television from his flat on the south coast, but explained that the sight of his friends celebrating their historic triumph has whetted his appetite for a glory day of his own.
“We had training on Saturday, so I wasn’t able to get up for the game which was really disappointing,” he told the Evening News. “I watched it in my flat with my Plymouth team-mate Gregg Wylde. He played for Rangers and is a Rangers fan so we had a bit of rivalry and a bit of banter going on.
“It was an amazing victory for the boys. With ten minutes left, it wasn’t looking good, but the manager’s instilled that belief in the team that makes keep going. It was great to see the boys win such an important trophy after such a long time. The celebrations looked incredible. I’m delighted for every single one of them. As soon as the match finished, I was texting all the boys and the gaffer and the coaching staff to congratulate them.
“It was great to see, but it’s something I wish I could have been a part of. Seeing all the boys lifting the trophy and how happy the fans were, I think it’s only natural that you’re a bit envious in that situation. I’ve got a big game on Monday though and seeing what Hibs have done gives me a bit extra motivation and inspiration to go and get some success of my own.”
Forster is excited by the prospect of playing at England’s national stadium. “We’ve got a chance to lift the play-off trophy and get ourselves into League One – it’s an occasion any footballer would want to be involved in,” said Forster. “It’s been an exciting week so far, and all the boys are buzzing to get to Wembley and see what it’s got in store for us. I’ve never been there before so it will be a great experience.”
Forster has made 12 appearances for Derek Adams’ Plymouth side, including eight starts. He has simply been relieved to get regular game time again after making only ten appearances for Hibs in the entirety of 2015.
“It’s been good down here,” he said. “I’ve got to see a completely different side of football. It’s very different to playing in Scotland. I’ve played a fair few games, which is what I wanted to do when I came here. At Christmas time, I wasn’t playing at Hibs and I felt I had to get out.
“I would probably have still liked to play a few more games but it’s been hard because Curtis Nelson and Peter Hartley are an established centre-back pairing. I’ve played a few games at right-back, a few games at centre-back and occasionally we’ve used a three-man defence. It’s been a good move for me. The boys have been brilliant and the manager’s been good with me.”
Forster’s Hibs contract is due to expire this summer, and he insists he has no idea where he will be next season. The probability of regular game time will be a big factor in his next move. “Hibs have made it clear there is a contract on the table but there’s a few things going on, so after the game on Monday I’ll go away for a holiday and then assess the situation when I come back,” he said. “There’s a couple of options on the table, so who knows where I’ll be come the start of the season.”