ROSS Tokely is the last of that rowdy lot from Inverness that arrived at Parkhead and went ballistic.

His fellow protagonists have all since departed, but the defender has endured to enjoy a 17-year spell at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

It is a committed relationship which may now have run its course, though. Tokely has been informed he is still a part of Terry Butcher's plans at the club, but the 33-year-old is reluctant to stick around if it means he will pick up a wage without playing a prominent role on the pitch.

The visit of Hibernian this afternoon could prompt an emotional farewell, then, the match offering Tokely the last of over 550 appearances for the Highland club. "The manager has made it clear he wants to keep me, but my future is still up in the air," he said. "I've got to look at whether I'll play much of a part next year. I don't want to be one of those players just sitting on the sidelines.

"I couldn't hack that for longer than a few games. I would need to speak to the manager next week and get some idea of how much I'll play a part next year.

"A lot of it is obviously up to myself in terms of how well I do. But, in the past, other players here around the 33 or 34 age have ended up just sitting on the bench all season. I'm not the sort to do that."

Tokely's career has brought three league titles, four promotions, one relegation, a Challenge Cup triumph, two Scottish Cup semi-final outings and that famous win over Celtic 12 years ago. After being signed by Steve Paterson, the uncompromising defender has remained a staple of the side under John Robertson, Craig Brewster, Charlie Christie and now Butcher. "I've had great times here, but there is going to come a day when I have to leave," he said.

It is the sort of career that Paul Grant can only dream about at the moment. The callow Hibs goalkeeper could make his senior debut in the Highlands this afternoon, with Pat Fenlon considering resting many of his players ahead of the Scottish Cup final with Hearts next week.

"I'm really looking forward to the weekend and hopefully the manager does pick me and I can show what I can do," said Grant, who would replace Mark Brown between the posts. "It's been a huge month and a great experience for me. It's your childhood dream to be involved, it's what you train for every day and what you work so hard for."