Hibs: Kevin Thomson eyes coaching future after joining Tranent

Kevin Thomson
Kevin Thomson has ended his third spell with Hibernian

Former Scotland midfielder Kevin Thomson turned down the chance to remain in senior football to sign for juniors Tranent after exiting Hibs.

Thomson hopes to establish his own soccer school and admits that turning his back on the top leagues at the age of 31 has left many surprised.

"They will be, but my gut told me I wanted to take a back seat," he said.

"I had a few offers to play senior and it is very humbling that people picked up the phone and asked me."

A boyhood Hibs fan, Thomson had started his third spell with the Edinburgh club after an equally surprising January exit from Dundee, where he had been captain.

He played nine times under Alan Stubbs as well as coaching the development squads under Eddie May but did not play after April and missed out on the Scottish Cup final victory over Rangers.

Stubbs has since moved to Rotherham United and Thomson had been hopeful of continuing to coach under his successor, former Bolton Wanderers and Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

"I was going in there and helping the academy and I really enjoyed it, but you learn quickly in football that you need to be in the right place at the right time," Thomson told BBC Radio Scotland's Sportsound.

"Unfortunately, it was not the right time for me to get a job there.

Kevin Thomson in action for Scotland against Sweden in 2010
Kevin Thomson last played for Scotland in a 3-0 defeat by Sweden in 2010

"I have already passed my B and A licence, I'm only 31 and it is a good thing that I'm young and I'm keen.

"It is definitely a young man's sport, the managers are getting younger and younger every day and I'm looking to tackle that one day."

Thomson's career has been blighted by injury problems since he suffered a cruciate ligament injury after breaking into Hibs' first-team.

However, he was twice transferred for £2m fees, first to Rangers and then to Middlesbrough, before his first return to Easter Road in 2013.

"That injury when I was 19 put me in good stead to be humble and, when I've had good times in my career, I've always appreciated them as much as anyone," said Thomson.

"I felt I was on top of the world and everything came crashing down around me.

"It doesn't matter how big a reputation you've got, when you are out for 11 months, it soon takes a bit of a battering and other people will come and take your place.

"So I had to work really hard to get back to where I've got to.

"I have had a lot of dark days throughout my career through injury unfortunately, but I've never wanted anyone to feel sorry for me."

Kevin Thomson receives treatment for an injury while with Dundee
Kevin Thomson's appearances for Dundee were limited by injury

Now the man who won three caps for Scotland will be playing for Tranent, the East Lothian side who are managed by his friend, Gary Small, and who have just won promotion to the East Premier League after winning the East Region South Division.

"I've got a wee thing in the pipeline that I would like to open a soccer school, an academy," said Thomson.

"Playing with Tranent is going to give me a wee bit of an insight into that because they've got a colts team that's got 700 boys, which is something I'm looking forward to being a part of and I can then spend a little more time looking into the soccer academy.

"It is an eye opener, I am not going to lie - packing a bag and getting told I need to take my own pants and socks and to take a towel and having to clean my boots after training.

"These are all the things these boys do and they do it because they love playing football.

"I am pretty much the same. I don't need to do it, but I want to and I want to give something back.

"The club's really well run, they are really passionate, they are a real community club and, if I can give something back then it should be looked on as a positive rather than a negative."

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