Lewis Allan positive about his future after 13 years with Hibs
Lewis Allan is excited by the prospect of kick-starting his career after ending his 13-year association with Hibs.
The 22-year-old academy graduate has left the Easter Road club after being unable to establish himself in the first-team.
Despite the disappointment of leaving a club with which he developed a strong bond, Allan is optimistic about his future.
“I was at Hibs for 13 years so it’s a bit of a shock to the system to have left but, fingers crossed, moving on will be the best thing for my career,” he told the Evening News. “I’ve been full-time since I was 17 and have always been around about the first team, on the bench and playing the odd game, but I’m 22 now. I need to be playing. It feels like the right time to move on.”
Allan made a total of eight appearances for Hibs, with six of them coming in the season just finished. His last outing was as a late substitute in Paul Heckingbottom’s first game in charge, against Hamilton Accies in mid-February.
“It’s funny because the season I ended up leaving was the one I featured most frequently,” he said. “In January, there was some talk of me getting offered a new contract but even then I knew if I stayed I probably wouldn’t be playing regularly. When I eventually got told my contract wasn’t getting renewed, Hibs were brilliant with me. This is the best move for both the club and myself because if I’d have got another year I’d probably have just been on the bench, in and out of the team when boys are out injured or suspended.”
Allan was 18 when he made his Hibs debut as a sub against Falkirk in December 2014, but a cyst in his back that required two operations and sidelined him for a year from October 2015 wreaked havoc with his development and resulted in him falling out of contention nd being loaned to Livingston and then Edinburgh City. He belatedly made his first start for Hibs away to Livingston last September but had to wait more than three months for another start, at home to the Lions in December.
“The team were struggling a bit and I thought last season might have been my year,” he said. “You just want to get a run of games but it’s tough at Hibs because they’ve got a lot of really good players and when you do get in, there are always good players coming back from injury. Over my whole time at Hibs, I didn’t have much luck. If I had a bit more luck, who knows how it would have panned out. But I was involved in some big games. I came on against Hearts, Celtic and Aberdeen last season and I played against Rangers a few years ago, so that’s why I leave holding no regrets. I need to get out there on my own two feet and start my career now. It’s up to me now.”
Allan is open-minded about where his next move will take him. “At the moment I’m just keeping my options open,” he said. “I’ve had a few invites to go and train with a few teams but I’ll just wait and see what happens. It’s actually quite exciting not knowing where I’m going next. I’m not jumping into anything. It’s still very early days. I want to feel right about the decision I make. I’m hoping to remain full-time but if I have to drop to part-time, that’s what I’ll do. Ideally I won’t have to do that, but I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
Allan has forged a strong bond with Hibs. “I grew up a Rangers fan but I’m a Hibs fan now,” he said. “That’ll be me for the rest of my life because Hibs have had a massive impact on me and I love the club.”