Anthony Stokes - Club Career - Hibernian

Hibernian

Stokes joined Hibernian for an undisclosed fee, reported by the Newcastle Evening Chronicle to be around £500,000, in August 2009. This meant that he linked up again with John Hughes, who had been his manager during his loan spell at Falkirk. Stokes made his Hibs debut against his former club Falkirk, and then credited Hughes as the main reason he decided to sign for Hibs. He scored his first goals for Hibs in a 3–0 win at home to St. Johnstone on 19 September. At the same time, Stokes made newspaper headlines for a nightclub altercation, which prompted John Hughes to discipline him and to say that he felt "let down" by Stokes. In December, however, Stokes scored five goals in three games, which helped to extend Hibs' unbeaten run in the SPL to 12 games. On 27 December 2009, Stokes scored the fastest goal in Scottish Premier League history, after just 12.4 seconds against Rangers. It broke the previous record of 17 seconds set by Saulius Mikoliūnas in a match between Hearts and St. Mirren on 2 December 2006. Stokes' goal was the only highlight for Hibs, however, as they lost 4–1 to the league leaders. His good run of form was rewarded with the SPL young player of the month award for December 2009. Stokes continued to score on a prolific basis throughout the 2009–10 season, although John Hughes expressed a desire to improve his all-round game. Stokes won the goal of the season award from the SPL for a goal against Rangers in November 2009.

At the start of the following season, Stokes acknowledged the need to improve other aspects of his play. He was then linked with a move to Celtic, with their manager Neil Lennon commenting that Stokes was "a player we like". The Scotsman reported that Hibs rejected an initial offer from Celtic, but Hibs then accepted a second offer a few days later.

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