Former Rangers defender Lee Hodson has returned to Scottish football, penning a one-year deal with Kilmarnock as the former Northern Ireland international makes his return to Rugby Park and eyes a repeat of his previous spell in Ayrshire.
Hodson spent time on loan at Killie in 2015/16 and was part of the side that retained their Premiership status with a playoff win over Falkirk – the same side the ex-Rangers man could make his second Kilmarnock debut against this afternoon.
— Lee Hodson (@leehods2) September 3, 2021
As well as a stint at Rangers, Hodson has also played for St. Mirren and Hamilton north of the border, moving to Kilmarnock after a spell with Gillingham – and the Northern Irish defender is hoping his return to Kilmarnock can end like his first as spark a celebration.
“I was interested in coming back as soon as I heard of Killie’s interest, knowing the size of the club and the journey it is on to get back to the Premiership,” Hodson said.
“I wanted to be a part of that and help take this club back to where it belongs. I had good memories of playing in front of the fans here, I’m more experienced but I still give it my all on the pitch for the club and want to win every game.
“The play off game here always sticks in my mind for the emotion and atmosphere they created in the ground. You could see how much it all meant to the supporters and the community.
“Last time my spell here ended on a high note and come the end of the season, hopefully we can have another sort of celebration.”
Hodson’s new manager at Rugby Park, Tommy Wright, knows the defender well after working together as part of the NI international set up in the past and is looking forward to teaming up with him once again.
The versatile Hodson can play in a number of different positions across the defence and midfield and Wright confessed that he’ll look to take advantage of that this season, saying: “I want to have a squad that has real competition all over the park and right back was one position where I only had one senior player in Jason Naismith.
“I worked with the Northern Ireland squad when Lee was in it and I was aware that he was training with Dundee and was still available. We had a quick chat with him before the window shut and we’ve moved it on since then.
“I’m pleased to get him in, he’s experienced and will provide real competition and he can play a few different positions: right and left back and he has played in central midfield role and in a back three.
“With COVID still ongoing, we need a squad to cope with injuries and COVID. I’m pleased to get him in and I think he’ll be a really good addition to the team and the squad.
Meanwhile, a key Rangers star has been talking about his future at Ibrox amid £15m links out of the club this summer.