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Efe Ambrose delighted to return to Scotland with Livingston

Efe Ambrose is delighted to join a club who share his philosophy in life after ending a frustrating spell by signing for Livingston.

The former Hibernian and Celtic defender has signed an 18-month contract after spending more than six months without a club.

The Nigeria international had been back in his homeland keeping his fitness up with his local club since leaving Derby last summer.

Now he could face Hibernian on Saturday more than a year after his last competitive game came in an Edinburgh derby against Hearts on December 29, 2018.

The 31-year-old had kept in touch with former Easter Road team-mate Marvin Bartley and secured his help in sealing a return to Scotland.

Ambrose said: “Marvin told me it was a great club and a great move for him and he said so many nice things about the club that I was really interested.

“I watched the Scottish league a lot back in Africa and I told Marvin I wanted to move back to Scotland and could he help out. He spoke to the coaches and said they were interested.

“I never thought they would be interested because I hadn’t played for six months. I have been training morning and evening back at home with my local team and they trusted me with that. I am not coming in for a pre-season, I am ready to go.

“Unfortunately I could not come in January because of paperwork. My agent tried to do everything possible but they couldn’t get it done and I thought I had missed out when they signed another centre-back.

“I thought it was another door shut and I was frustrated. I kept calling Marvin and he told me not to worry and I kept believing and praying. Last week everything turned round.

“Even a day without football is not OK. I have the passion and drive to play football. I have been playing in Africa but I want to be playing in a competitive league.

“I had another couple of offers but nothing concrete. So it was difficult, just hoping.

“Then Livingston came in. I have watched them play and have seen the ambition of the club.

“This is an opportunity for me to come back to the league and see what I can do to help Livingston do what they want to achieve this season – which is the top six and after that fight for the European spots.

“Nothing is impossible in football. I always believe you can achieve anything you put your mind to, and I believe this club has that mindset too.”

Ambrose invoked a clause in his contract to leave Hibs last January and join Derby but he failed to get into Frank Lampard’s team.

“It wasn’t a disappointment because it was just three months,” he said. “It’s difficult in that position to break in because the team was doing well.

“But what I got from there – the players, the coaching staff, the training – was massive and I enjoyed my time there. I never regretted the move.”