Former Ireland striker Anthony Stokes is looking for a new club for the seventh time in less than three years as he has left Scottish outfit Livingston without kicking a ball for them.
The much-travelled Dubliner has had stints in Greece, Iran and Turkey since he left Hibs in 2018 and when he signed for Livingston last month, Stokes said his familiarity with the Scottish league would help him settle.
But now the player and club have parted company, before he could make his debut, over fitness issues.
“Stokesy has been in training for approximately 4 weeks now and it’s fair to say that we both knew that there was going to be a lot of work to be done to get Anthony into top shape to play Premiership football,” the club’s Head of Football Operations, David Martindale, said.
“In all honesty, it’s not quite worked out in terms of the on-field ball work and intense training schedule we had put in place. He is struggling to adapt to training 2-3 hours per day on the Astro Turf surface – we all know it doesn’t and won’t suit everyone. It isn’t for everyone and sadly, that’s been the case for Anthony.”
“Whilst trying to get the player in shape, it’s been extremely frustrating for all of us, staff and player alike, that we can’t seem to get the intense training needed into the player.
“To be fair to Anthony, he has noticed this himself and he approached us with the option to terminate. This allows both the player and the club to explore other opportunities.”