BERWICKSHIRE’S Liam Craig has signed a pre-contract agreement with Hibernian which will see him move to Easter Road in the summer.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who hails from Chirnside, will make the switch from St Johnstone at the end of the season.
But for now his focus is firmly with Saints, who he hopes to help haul up the league before his departure.
“I want to leave Saints on a high,” he said. “That would mean qualifying for Europe again. That was special for all of us, the players and fans. Or maybe we can make the Cup final, which has eluded us in recent years. That would be the ideal way to sign off.”
Craig admitted the club had been disappointed to miss out on that after reaching a few semi-finals. “We have tried so hard and it would be great if this was the season we finally broke through that barrier,” he said.
“I certainly don’t want Perth fans to remember me for wasting my last few months here and forget the good times we have had over the past five years.”
True to his word, Craig was instrumental in giving second-place Motherwell a scare on Saturday when Saints were unlucky to leave Fir Park with nothing. Despite being 3-0 down after 75 minutes, they almost staged an incredible come back when Hasselbaink found the back of the net on the 78 minute mark, with Craig - whose attacking threat had caused the home side problems all afternoon - further reducing the deficit two minutes later with a goal from distance.
He now hopes his side can claw their way further up the table when they take on Aberdeen, who have just one more point, on Wednesday.
“I’ve had a lot of great times at Perth,” Craig insisted. “But I am 26 and, after five years here, I just feel the time is right for a change at this stage in my career.”
Hibs manager Pat Fenlon believes the former Berwick Rangers Juniors, Ipswich Town and Falkirk player will be a valuable addition to his squad.
He said: “We’ve signed Liam on a pre-contract and we’re delighted to do so, we’ve watched him a bit since I’ve been here and I like what he brings to the game.
“He’s a very good footballer and has a real eye for goal from midfield which is something that we could do with as well.
“Physically he is a presence in the team, technically he is very good and a clever footballer so I’m delighted to have him on board for next season.”
Craig has made nearly 200 appearances for the Perth club since joining them from Falkirk in 2008. Saints manager Steve Lomas said Craig gave a hundred percent every week and had been a “great servant” to the club.
Craig has scored five goals this season, having found the net on seven occasions last term.