HIBS manager Neil Lennon is set to sign up Celtic midfielder Kris Commons who leaves the Champions at the end of this month.
Commons was introduced to the 60,000 supporters inside Celtic Park yesterday afternoon by Brendan Rodgers ahead of the former trophy presentation ceremony. The Celtic manager played tribute to Commons and his family or being a special part of the Celtic family.
“I want to make a special mention to Kris Commons, Lisa and his family,” Rodgers said.
“Kris has been an incredible servant to the club.
“He’s been unfortunate this year with injuries. But he’s been brilliant behind the scenes.
“Him and his wife are very much part of the Celtic family, so thank you.”
Commons went under the knife shortly before Rodgers took over as Celtic manager a year ago. He has never been fit enough to feature under the Irishman but did go for an emergency midwinter loan to Easter Road to team up with Neil Lennon, the gaffer who signed him for Celtic.
Apart from his game-time at Hibs in December, Commons has had to content himself by becoming a spectator. Most players find that a thankless, frustrating task as they kick every ball from their seat in the stands but for Commons he has enjoyed the experience.
“In the last 12 months I’ve been a Celtic fan and they’ve been an absolute joy to watch,” he said after yesterday’s emotional goodbye.
“I wish them all the world in the future, it was a very emotional day for me but I think what’s happening right now at Celtic, it’s never been better to be a part of it.”
Looking back on the injuries he has had to endure has left him somewhat frustrated, but he is ready to move on to the next challenge and that isn’t going to be down south or perhaps even up north. Commons is now a Glasgow boy.
“It’s been frustrating and if I had been fit enough I would hope to have played some more football but the truth is I’ve had four back injections and that’s been a sticking point that I’ve actually not been fit enough to actually play,” he said.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these last six years, it’s been absolutely beyond my wildest dreams, the emotions we’ve played through, the games we’ve played in and a massive thanks to everyone that welcomed me from day one and gave me the opportunity to play some sort of role.”
Commons was Celtic’s most important player for 3 or 4 years, the player they looked to for a goal when it was needed most. And on no occasion was that more obvious than in an important Champions League qualifier back in 2012. Commons set them on their way that night and it ended up with Barcelona coming to Celtic Park. What a night that was!
“It would be easy to pick out the Barcelona game when we beat them, that was probably the peak of the games we played at that time but scoring the goal that actually got us into the Champions League, the Shakhtar goal, as a team and for the manager, Neil Lennon and everything that was happening that week, we were so determined to put it right.
“How it all unfolded, that was one of the most memorable games I’ve ever been involved in.”
Lennon and Commons have good chemistry together, their is trust and mutual respect. If he can and is able to, then Commons is going to find it very hard to say no to his former Celtic gaffer.
“If I’m able and fit enough, I want to carry on playing. I don’t think anyone wants to call it quits. I’m going to leave my options open. At the minute I’m feeling fit and fresh but I’m going to go away with the family for a long deserved break.
“I’m not really going to think about football or getting fit, I can actually try and enjoy my time with my family and make the next plan.
“I’ve pretty much decided that I’m going to be living in Glasgow from now on, I’ve got three beautiful children who are all Celtic daft and they’re not even getting out of bed without putting a Celtic strip on.
“I think I’m going to be in and involved for sometime to come.
“I’m hoping, now that I’ve passed my B-licence in my coaching, that I can go on to start passing on my expertise, my memories and certainly experiences about going forward to these young boys.”
So if he is going to stay at his home in Glasgow and will keep playing if he can, then a fit Kris Commons is only going to sign for one club and that’s the one in Easter Road managed by Neil Lennon.
Hibs are going to a decent outfit next season, no doubt about that. They will enhance the Premiership considerably, especially if hey have the Commons touch to rely on.
We think they will you know.