By DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Hibs goalkeeper Mark Oxley admits he was thrilled to accept the proposal of a new two-year deal at Easter Road just weeks after getting engaged to long-term girlfriend Chloe.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed a memorable summer after getting down on one knee while on holiday in Greece, before returning to extend his stay in Leith following a successful season-long loan from Hull City.
Oxley had lucrative offers to remain in England after being released at the Tigers but the shot-stopper admits he loved life both on and off the pitch at the Championship club last season.
Oxley said: “I’m delighted how everything has turned out, it’s been quite a summer.
“I went to Greece on holiday and got engaged there and then went to Portugal.
“I proposed on the beach, I was very nervous. We’ve been together a while now and the pressure was on me.
“Now I’ve got these two years, it’s something we can both look forward to.
“There were other options but there were options that you might be a number two – hopefully if I do well I’ll be number one again.
“It’s easy for someone to go into a club where they’re happy to sit on the bench every week but I’ve done that in my early years from 18 up to the last two seasons.
“As good as it is experiencing big grounds and getting decent money, I want to continue playing like I did last year.”
Oxley insists seeing team-mates Fraser Fyvie, David Gray and Liam Fontaine all pledge their future to the club also influenced his decision to remain at Hibs.
He added: “I was in contact with a few of the lads asking what they were doing. Fonts signed last week, Fraser and Dave also extended and it makes your decision better because if you see that those lads are signing on, it’s going to be same group and we know each other.
“We all get on really well. I’m sure they had interest as well because they did well and it speaks volumes that they wanted to stay.
“We’re in a better position this season in terms of the group we’ve got, from the day I came in to now it’s a lot better.”
Hibs head coach Stubbs said: “There were other clubs interested in him, but the fact he has pledged his future to our club is a real coup and speaks volumes about his commitment.
“He is a great age for a keeper and last season’s experience will stand him in good stead for the upcoming challenge – he will continue to get better.”