Hibs boss Pat Fenlon has revealed he’s to cast his net far and wide in a bid to find the hidden gems to help continue the rebuilding of his Easter Road squad.
Fenlon has overhauled the Capital club’s scouting system, putting Dave Henderson in charge, initiating a far-flung trawl for fresh talent. Along with his backroom staff Fenlon spent the winter break at the turn of the year taking in a string of matches while the manager also returned home at the beginning of last month to watch his country’s Under-19 and Under-21 sides in action, remarking afterwards: “We are looking at one or two young players in Ireland to try and sign up.”
While Fenlon, his assistant Liam O’Brien and Henderson are naturally well acquainted with what is going on football-wise on the Emerald Isle, he’s determined to take Hibs’ search for possible summer signings as far afield as possible.
Already South African defender Vaughan Miller, who has been playing in Sweden, has been on trial. Fenlon disclosed the 24-year-old had impressed and although he wasn’t in a position to offer him a contract at that particular point it was “something we will look at maybe for next year”.
Fenlon, left, has already put his vast knowledge of Irish football to good use, making striker Eoin Doyle his first signing from Sligo Rovers before bringing in midfielder Gary Deegan, who had played under him at Dublin club Bohemians, from Coventry City during the summer. It would surprise few if he was to return to that market again.
Although he’ll continue to keep his finger on the pulse and use his contacts on the other side of the Irish Sea, Ireland will, he insisted, hold few, if any, surprises for him.
Revealing Hibs’ profile had risen in Ireland since he was appointed manager 16 months ago, Fenlon said: “With one of their own coming to manage Hibs it has become a good talking point. There’s a number of people I’ve met who say they look for our results perhaps a bit ahead of others.
“That’s good. The higher the profile of the club anywhere in the world is beneficial to
Hibs. We know the ins and outs of Irish football from Under-sevens to the international team but it is important to recognise we are not only looking in
“We have changed our scouting network, we have that up and running at the moment and we are due in two or three countries to go and look at
“We have to make sure we broaden our horizons and see if we can pick up some diamonds from all over the place.”