Marvin Bartley is eyeing more silverware with Hibs after pledging his future to the club for another two years.
The midfield enforcer has claimed the first trophies of his senior career during his time at Easter Road after helping the club on their way to Scottish Cup glory last season and then playing a prominent role in their march to the Championship title over the past season.
Bartley has relished his two years with a club he feels is in a buoyant state and, as Hibs prepare to return to the Premiership next season, the 30-year-old Englishman is hopeful of enjoying more success after it was confirmed on Tuesday that he will remain in Edinburgh until 2019.
“It’s been two exciting years previous to this, so hopefully we can continue it and challenge in the Premiership,” he said. “The club feels like it’s on the up, but it’s felt like that ever since I’ve been here. I’ve been very lucky to have the success I’ve had here. It feels like the club’s going the right way, and that was a major part in me staying here and not going home.
“The ambition is to win more medals. That’s what I’m in football for. It’s been a long time coming for me to go somewhere and be successful, so I’m absolutely delighted to get the Championship winner’s medal and the Scottish Cup winner’s medal. You’ve just got to be as ambitious as you can. I hope to get more medals over the next two years.”
Bartley revealed earlier in his Hibs career that some people he knew down south openly questioned his decision to head to Scotland after leaving Leyton Orient in 2015. The midfielder, who was picked out by former Hibs winger Michael “Mickey” Weir in his Evening News column as the team’s key man this season, feels his move has been emphatically vindicated. “I’ve got a couple of pictures for the critics!” he said. “It’s been brilliant. Winning the Scottish Cup was unbelievable, and then to win the Championship and go into the Premiership to play against the biggest teams in the country – it doesn’t get much better. I think I’ve answered all the critics. I don’t think they’ll have a lot to say any more.”
Bartley’s main potential stumbling block to remaining at Hibs was the fact his partner Sacha has been living in England. However, he is delighted that she will now join him in the Capital. “I’m delighted the contract’s sorted,” he told Hibs TV. “It’s something we’ve been sorting out for a while. For me, it was more of a personal thing, in terms of discussing it with my missus, who is based in England at the moment. She is going to move to Scotland, which means I was able to commit to the club for a further two years.”
Bartley is looking forward to another two years of playing in front of the Hibs fans, with whom he has enjoyed a strong rapport. “I don’t think the supporters realise just how big a help they are when they cheer us on in tough games,” he said. “When it’s 0-0 and you’ve got a team playing against you with 11 men behind the ball, it’s a massive help when they cheer us on. As a team, we can’t thank them enough because they have pulled us through at times. Even when we lost to Aberdeen [in the Scottish Cup semi-final] they were all on their feet clapping us. That was a really special moment for us because it’s not often after a defeat that you see fans backing a team the way they did to us.”