‘A mad Scotsman’ - Jason Naismith details stress involved in late-night dash to become a Hibee
Jason Naismith can laugh about it all now but his transfer deadline-day move to Hibs left him totally stressed out.
Having fallen out of boss Darren Ferguson’s plans at Peterborough, the former St Mirren and Ross County defender was desperate for the season-long loan deal to be pushed through.
Although the Leith club’s need was pressing, skipper David Gray ruled out for three months with knee ligament damage and Tom James still recovering from an ankle injury, it was not as straight forward as it seemed.
Paul Heckingbottom needing to conclude negotiations with Dundee, who were keen to take youngster Sean Mackie to Dens Park, to help free up wages for a final summer signing which the Hibs head coach revealed also needed a little help from the League One outfit and Naismith himself.
As a result everything went down to the wire, Naismith making a late dash to the FA’s national football centre at St George’s Park where he anxiously sought out Hibs head physio Nathan Ring who also works with England’s Under-21 squad.
“I was in Peterborough training that morning,” recalled the 25-year-old. “I was told the Hibs thing was happening, then it was off, then it was happening. The day was mega stressful because the deal was on and off about 15 times.
“My head was all over the place, but eventually that night we managed to get it done. Luckily the physio was at St George’s which is only about an hour and a half from Peterborough so I was in the car trying to get there in time to get a medical done and get everything signed.
“I had the satnav trying to find my way along all the country roads to get to the complex. There were diversions and stuff as well and I was thinking ‘this just isn’t happening’.
“I felt like it maybe wasn’t meant to be but, luckily, I got there in time. It was late, after 10pm and I was running around the complex trying to find where I needed to be.
“They must have thought I was a mad Scotsman, rushing about looking for a Hibs physio. It was quite funny and you had to laugh, but we got it done in the end so that was the main thing.
“I’ve never been through a deadline-day move before. I have always watched deadline day on Sky Sports and I’d rather that was the case from now on. Now that I’ve experienced it, I wouldn’t want that again. It’s too much emotion.”
Naismith described the decision to join Hibs as “a no-brainer” even although it has come barely 12 months into the three-year deal he signed with Peterborough.
But, he insisted, there had been no falling out with Ferguson, who took over at the London Road Stadium for a third time when he replaced Steve Evans in January.
“I did well under Darren,” insisted Naismith who made 50 appearances for “The Posh” last season. “I probably played my best football for Peterborough from January onwards and the manager was delighted with my form. I was delighted, but the situation changed over the summer.
“That happens in football sometimes. It wasn’t anything malicious. We just had a good honest conversation with each other and the manager decided it was best for me to move on. I was willing to stay and fight for my place but it was a case of ‘no, just move on’ and as soon as Hibs came in for me it was a no-brainer.
“It’s a great opportunity, I’m just buzzing every day.”