Hibs boss gives trial to former Welsh cap Neal Eardley

Neal Eardley has a wealth of experience gained in England and with the Wales national team
Neal Eardley has a wealth of experience gained in England and with the Wales national team
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Hibs boss Neil Lennon has revealed he has taken former Welsh internationalist Neal Eardley on trial. The 27-year-old will be given an immediate run-out in tonight’s development squad match against St Mirren in Paisley.

Lennon has been searching for a right back to provide both competition and cover for skipper David Gray and only last week decided against offering Filip Modelksi a contract, the Polish defender having spent a few days on trial and featuring in the Under-20s’ win over Motherwell.

But now Lennon has turned his attention to Eardley, pictured, a free agent after being released by English Championship team Birmingham City when his contract expired at the end of last season.

Admitting Eardley “may fit the bill”, Lennon said: “He’s had more than 200 appearances in his career and is out of contract. We’re having a look at him. He’s got vast experience and has overcome a couple of injuries. He may fit the bill as the player we are looking for.”

A product of Oldham Athletic’s youth system, Llan
dudno-born Eardley made more than 100 appearances for the Boundary Park outfit before making a £350,000 move to Blackpool in 2009 where he also clocked up a century of games.

Eardley, who has played 16 times for Wales, switched to Birmingham in 2013 on a three-year deal but his stay in the Midlands was disrupted by injury, a ruptured medial ligament allied to a partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament followed by a dislocated shoulder.

And, in January this year, he suffered further cruciate-ligament damage in an FA Cup tie against Bournemouth which ruled him out for the rest of the season at Birmingham.

Meanwhile, Lennon described being named as Ladbrokes Championship manager of the month for August – with striker Jason Cummings picking up the players’ award – as recognition of Hibs’ start to the season, five straight league wins taking them to the top of the table.

Joking he didn’t pick up many such awards at his last club Bolton Wanderers, Lennon said: “It’s nice to get recognition, but it’s down to the players.

“Jason has got the player-of-the-month award and really deserves it because he has been really consistent. The team has been great and we backed it up with another win at the weekend. It’s been a good start for us.

“It’s not an award that’s at the forefront of your mind, but I will take it any time because it shows the team are playing consistently well and getting good results.

“But, if I pick up a few at the end of the season, I know I will be doing something right.”