Hibernians yesterday announced that they had parted ways with coach Michael Woods by mutual consent.

The announcement by the Premier League club came as a bit of a surprise as Hibs took the decision just a few days after Woods steered the club to winning the U*Bet FA Trophy following their 3-1 win over Qormi in the final on Wednesday.

“The Executive Committee of Hibernians FC came to an agreement with coach Michael Woods to terminate his contract by mutual consent,” Stefan Zahra, Hibs media relations officer, said in a statement.

“The committee would like to thank Mr Woods for his contribution towards the club.”

Hibs have yet to make an official announcement on Woods’s repla-cement. However, sources told The Times of Malta that Branko Nisevic, their former Serbian defender, is favourite to be appointed as Hibs new coach.

This season Nisevic was em-ployed with the Malta FA as coach of the U-17 selection and was also assistant to national coach Pietro Ghedin.

If Nisevic decides to join Hibs, the Malta FA are likely to offer the post of national team assistant coach to Silvio Vella who this season was at the helm of Rabat Ajax.

Woods was appointed as coach of Hibernians at the start of the season. He signed a three-year contract after taking over from Mark Miller.

After winning the pre-season competition, the Euro Challenge Cup, Hibs were engaged in a tight battle for the Premier League title with Birkirkara and Valletta.

The Paolites finished the league championship sharing top spot with Birkirkara to force a decider.

However, it was Birkirkara who won the title after beating Hibernians 3-1 earlier this month in the league showdown.

Contacted yesterday evening, Woods said that although he was somewhat disappointed to end his stint as Hibs coach, he still felt satisfied with what he had achieved with the club during his relatively short stay.

“I am happy with with what Hibs achieved this season while I was in charge,” Woods said.

“On a personal note this was my best season in my coaching career. The team was competitive on all fronts and I’m pleased that we ended the season by winning the FA Trophy.

“Now, I intend to take a break from the game. The last three weeks were very stressful and I need time to recover.

“I take this opportunity to thank the club and the Hibs fans for their backing throughout the season.”

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