Tuesday 22 October 2019

Anthony Stokes goes AWOL from new club after just four games

Anthony Stokes, Republic of Ireland
Anthony Stokes, Republic of Ireland

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Anthony Stokes' spell in Greece has run into trouble after only four games as the Ireland international will be disciplined by his club for missing training.

The Dubliner joined struggling top-flight side Apollon Smirnis in February, after his contract with Hibs was cancelled following an incident during a training camp.

The small Athens outfit lost in Stokes' first two games but he did play in two subsequent wins which allowed Apollon move out of the relegation zone.

But the club confirmed that Stokes (29) will play no part in their next league game, against fellow strugglers Lamia tomorrow as he was "absent for a third day" from training, and the club's website said the former Celtic man would be disciplined by the club.

Stokes had hoped to revive his career in Greece after a torrid time in Scotland. His contract with Hibs was cancelled, just six months into a two-year deal, after an incident on the club's winter training camp in Portugal. 

Hibs boss Neil Lennon, who previously worked with Stokes at Celtic admitted that he had lost patience with the controversial striker. "There's only so many times you can push the envelope," Lennon said, confirming Stokes' exit.

"There is a line that I won't tolerate, and Anthony had plenty of chances not to cross that line. We've been saying for years that he's a talented player and it's a shame, but I can't keep rapping him on the knuckles and saying it's all right.

"For every player, it is the same premise: it is your livelihood, sacrifices have to be made and there has to be a dedication to your game."

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