Anthony Stokes leaves Livingston after four-week spell

Tue, Sep 15 2020

Former Republic of Ireland international Anthony Stokes has left Scottish Premiership side Livingston after a four-week spell at the club.

The 32-year-old Stokes had not played for Livingston since joining the club in August.

Prior to joining, Stokes had previously played for Celtic, Hibernian and Falkirk in the Scottish Premiership.

He also played for Arsenal, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Blackburn Rovers in England.

His most recent spell saw him play for Iranian side Persepolis. However, due to the ongoing Covid-19 emergency, Stokes only played once for the Iranians.

“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,” Livingston 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.

“Of course, Anthony knew the surface we had in place but each player adapts to that differently and you can’t know how your body will feel adapting to it until you’ve been out there and played or trained on it frequently.

“We know it isn’t for everyone and sadly, that’s been the case for Anthony.”

He added: “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.

 “It’s a real shame that the Livingston FC fans didn’t get to see Anthony wear the number 9 shirt for Livingston on the field.

“In the short spells we did get a chance to work with him, you could certainly see the quality he possesses.”