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Hibs defender Darren McGregor returns to classroom to boost manager ambitions

Hibernian defender Darren McGregor returned to the classroom in a bid to shape his future.

The 34-year-old is contracted to the Easter Road club until 2023 but recognises that he is in the twilight of his career which is currently on hold due to the coronavirus crisis.

Football in the country has been suspended since March 13 with no firm date for its return but McGregor is looking further ahead than that keenly-awaited date.

He told PA news agency. “I’m currently on a business management course at Napier University. PFA Scotland organised the course and basically it’s an HND on business management tapered towards being a manager.

“It’s been excellent. David Gray, Whitts (Steven Whittaker) and me have been attending every second Thursday for the last year. It closed until further notice but we have a couple of assignments still to do.

Hibernian v Celtic – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Easter Road

Darren McGregor (rIght) is preparing for his future with a business management course (Ian Rutherford/PA)

“It was good to be back in the classroom after 20 years. It’s good to get the brain working again, to push yourself out your comfort zone because I’m going to have to get there eventually.

“I’m doing as much as I can to tick the boxes that needed to be picked for my future. I have done my B license and was supposed to be in the process of doing my A license but I’m not sure if that will get moved to next year.

“I would love to stay at Hibs in some capacity to be honest but what they see that capacity being, who knows? I want to play as long as I can. I feel as if I still have a lot to give, I genuinely do. I still enjoy the hustle and bustle of training.”

McGregor will wait patiently for the season to restart – if it does – and is relishing the prospect of a William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final against Edinburgh rivals Hearts to come safe in the knowledge that his cup ambitions with his boyhood heroes were fulfilled in the most dramatic circumstances.

The former Cowdenbeath, St Mirren and Rangers player was in the Hibs side which won the cup in 2016 to take it back to Easter Road for the first time in 114 years.

Hibernian Open Top Bus Parade – Edinburgh City Centre

Darren McGregor was in the Hibs side which won the Scottish Cup in 2016 (Andrew Milligan/PA)

McGregor said: “The cup seems that far off but we have a great opportunity.

“The game, whenever it gets played, will be a spectacle, it always is when it is Hibs versus Hearts. It will be  tough game but one I think we can win and then who knows?

“But there is a lot happening between now and then so we will see what happens.

“But if my career was to end today I could look back and have no regrets. I was brought up in Leith and I am happy that I won the Scottish Cup with my boyhood heroes”.

While there remains huge uncertainty around when the league season will resume, McGregor is on the side of those who believe it should be concluded.

He said: “It is a contentious issue. To call it a day as such would be unfair on teams that want to get promoted and the same going the other way (relegation).

“You need to see it to its conclusion to give everybody a fair crack of the whip.

“It is a weird situation to be in. You want to get back, you want that purpose in life, that’s what you want as a footballer”.