Hibs boss Pat Fenlon was today casting an anxious eye skywards as the weekend downpour raised concerns about the Easter Road outfit’s first pre-season game.
Fenlon’s players are due to face Rapid Bucharest at the Grangemouth Stadium tomorrow night but the pitch there has been waterlogged, forcing the Romanians’ friendlies against Livingston on Saturday and last night’s encounter with Motherwell to be cancelled.
The Romanians, who finished fourth in their domestic league last season, are in Scotland preparing for the start of their Europa League campaign but other than a 5-2 win against Morton at Grangemouth before the country was hit by a deluge, they have been left frustrated.
Fenlon is keen to get his players into action before they leave for a whirlwind tour of Europe, playing four matches in three different countries in just seven days before returning for a clash with Championship new boys Huddersfield Town at Easter Road. A decision on whether the Rapid match goes ahead won’t be taken until tomorrow, today’s weather forecast isn’t promising with outbreaks of rain, possibly heavy predicted with further showers over the following 24 hours.
Meanwhile, former Hearts
defender Alan Maybury has joined Fenlon’s squad for pre-season training along with ex-Aberdeen and Dundee United midfielder Mark Kerr who spent the second half of last season with Dunfermline, The 30-year-old has been offered a new contract by the Pars but, having turned out for Polish champions Slask Wroclaw within the past fortnight, he’s keen to keep his options open.
Maybury, also out of contract having left St Johnstone revealed a friendship between his agent and Fenlon led to him turning up at East Mains as he doesn’t “want to be left behind” in terms of pre-season work should an offer come in from wherever.
Although both will obviously be keen to impress Fenlon, the Hibs manager has made clear his priorities lie elsewhere with the Irishman admitting he’s short in both the goalkeeping and strikers’ departments.
Talks are ongoing with Mark Brown regarding a contract
extension with Graham Stack released at the end of the season but, as things stand at the moment, Fenlon only has teenager Paul Grant and Calum Antell, who spent last season on loan at Third Division East Stirling, to call on.
And, up front, Eoin Doyle, signed from Sligo Rovers in January, is his only senior hitman following the departure of Garry O’Connor and Leigh Griffiths return to Wolves at the end of his loan spell. As such, teenagers Ross Caldwell and Danny Handling are his only options at present.