Former Celtic and Hibs star Anthony Stokes has left Livingston – just a few weeks after penning a deal with the Lions.
The 32-year-old has had a nomadic spell in football following his time with the likes of Celtic and Hibs. He’s spent most of his time abroad, moving back to SPFL shores to take the number nine shirt in Gary Holt’s side.
They needed a striker after Lyndon Dykes left the club for QPR and it was hoped that Stokes could fill the void. But issues have arisen that make it too difficult for Stokes to become that man.
Now it’s been agreed for the two parties to go their separate ways. Head of Football Operations David Martindale has explained the decision behind letting Stokes go.
“Stokesy has been in training for approximately 4 weeks now and it’s fair to say that we both knew that there was going to be a lot of work to be done to get Anthony into top shape to play Premiership football,” Martindale said.
“In all honesty, it’s not quite worked out in terms of the on-field ball work and intense training schedule we had put in place. He is struggling to adapt to training 2-3 hours per day on the Astro Turf surface – we all know it doesn’t and won’t suit everyone.
“Of course, Anthony knew the surface we had in place but each player adapts to that differently and you can’t know how your body will feel adapting to it until you’ve been out there and played or trained on it frequently. We know it isn’t for everyone and sadly, that’s been the case for Anthony.
“Whilst trying to get the player in shape, it’s been extremely frustrating for all of us, staff and player alike, that we can’t seem to get the intense training needed into the player.
“To be fair to Anthony, he has noticed this himself and he approached us with the option to terminate. This allows both the player and the club to explore other opportunities.”