HIS GOALS sent Hibs back into the Premiership and Darren McGregor insists he is ready to pen a new deal and lead the top-flight charge next season.
The defender’s rare double, with a third from David Gray, earned the Easter Road side a 3-0 win over Queen of the South to spark raucous – and relieved – title-winning celebrations on Saturday.
The 31-year-old fulfilled a dream when he joined his boyhood heroes two years ago and things got even better when he helped them to their historic Scottish Cup triumph last May.
And, with his current deal about to expire this summer and fresh terms on the table, the former Rangers and St Mirren stopper is not ready to end his love affair with the capital club.
He said: “One hundred per cent I see myself here next season. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.
“I’m so happy here and I think that shows in my football and my family life.
“The buzz I get playing for Hibs is far better than anything else I’ve experienced for any other team.
“Every footballer aspires to play in the top league, to play against your rivals at the best stadiums. So that means Ibrox, Celtic Park, Pittodrie, Tynecastle and the rest.
“We’ve got a great stadium and training ground. We’ve got the foundations to be a big force in Scotland.”
It was fitting that McGregor, one of the side’s best players this season and a fan of the club, got the party started at the weekend with his two first-half goals.
Thereafter there was no way Neil Lennon’s side were going to let the victory they needed slip through their grasp.
With Falkirk’s failure to beat St Mirren leaving Hibs in an unassailable position at the top of the Championship, McGregor was left on cloud nine.
He added: “People ask what it means to be a Hibs supporter doing this and it’s hard to sum up in a couple of lines. I pinch myself every day that I’m in this situation.
“Leaving Rangers to come here was a great achievement. Winning the Scottish Cup was massive.
“To play for the club that I’ve supported and get promoted, I’m on cloud nine. I’m trying to take it all in.
“I’ve such a hunger and a desire to do well for the club and the fans. It’s not just me. My family and my friends are all Hibs fans.”