Hibs eye new defender as Keith Watson moves on

Alan Stubbs has decided against offering Keith Watson a deal
Alan Stubbs has decided against offering Keith Watson a deal
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ALAN STUBBS is to step up his hunt for a new defender after deciding not to offer former Dundee United player Keith Watson a deal

Watson spent the second half of last season on loan at Easter Road and returned to the Edinburgh club for pre-season training after his Tannadice contract had expired, even joining Stubbs’ squad at their training camp in La Manga.

But injury prevented the 25-year-old from taking part in any of Hibs’ warm-up matches and now Stubbs has dropped his interest in the player, who has since gone on trial with Aberdeen.

Stubbs said: “Keith was here, he came into training but he had an injury which kept him out for a bit. As a result, we have decided to move on. Keith had an opportunity to go to Aberdeen so we have allowed him to go and try to pursue something there.”

Although when all his players are fit, Stubbs will have an abundance of midfielders and strikers, he is short of experienced cover at the back. That is a situation he’s determined to address.

He said: “We have lots of names but the look will be extensive and extend far afield. I need to make sure it’s the right fit and the person can do the job I am looking for a defender to do – not necessarily to cover one position, two would be 
ideal. We are looking to be as competitive as possible.”

Stubbs, however, refused to discuss the situation regarding striker Jamie Insall, who has been on trial, the 23-year-old scoring for the club’s development side in a friendly against Brentford last week.

A prolific striker for Bromyard Town and WCT Youth Raiders, Insall signed for Northern Premier League outfit Stourbridge before Hibs made their move out of the blue.

Worcester-born Insall told the Cotswold Journal: “I scored four goals in six games at Stourbridge in pre-season and felt I had a run of three or four matches when I was really top-notch.

“I got 42 goals last season and have scored more than 80 in the last two seasons.

“I had a random phone call from my old manager at Littleton [Andy Robbins], who told me an agent wanted to speak with me. My name had been thrown around quite a bit because of the goals.

“I’m really not sure what made a club like Hibs take a punt on me. But, for me, it was a no-brainer.

“I’ve got my own hotel room and they’ve paid for my meals. If it doesn’t work out here, then it’s been an experience and I’ll go back to Stourbridge.

“It’s gone quickly and I’ve really enjoyed my time here. They’ve made me feel very welcome.”

Stubbs, though, would only say: “We have had loads of people on trial. I am not going to comment on an individual, especially when someone is on trial.

“When anything happens with trialists we will tell you as soon as possible as we always do.”