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Stokes seizes second chance

Anthony Stokes was relieved to get a second chance to sign for Celtic after Neil Lennon beat the transfer deadline to purchase the striker from Hibernian.

The 22-year-old signed a four-year contract at Celtic following a reported £1.2million transfer, more than three years after rejecting the chance to sign for his boyhood idols. Stokes instead signed for Roy Keane's Sunderland after leaving Arsenal but his career stagnated until he was reunited with John Hughes at Hibernian last summer.

"I thought my chance to play for Celtic had passed me by," Stokes told the Huddle Online. "When things were going badly at Sunderland, I was thinking about it and thought I probably did make the wrong decision, but I was young and immature and it's just one of those things."

Stokes netted 23 times for Hibs - to add to the 16 he scored under Hughes on a loan spell at Falkirk and prompting Celtic to come calling again.

The Ireland international added: "It was a good experience down there in the Premiership and hopefully it means I will come here a better player."

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