Shefki Kuqi will be a shining star for Hibs says Ben Williams

Shefki Kuqi
Shefki Kuqi
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Hibs star Ben Williams today predicted boss Pat Fenlon’s latest signing, Finnish veteran Shefki Kuqi, will be a “goal-den oldie” for the Easter Road club.

Goalkeeper Williams knows people will question Fenlon’s decision to bring in a 35-year-old striker but, having faced Kuqi last season, he is in no doubt the 6ft 2in forward will shine in Edinburgh.

Williams faced Kuqi in English League One last season as his club took on Oldham Athletic and he believes the fact the former Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers, Swansea City and Newcastle United ace played almost 50 matches speaks for itself.

Kuqi made a brief appearance replacing Eoin Doyle for the final few minutes as Hibs defeated St Mirren 2-1 in Paisley thanks to two goals by Leigh Griffiths, and Williams firmly believes his new team-mate has a huge part to play this season.

He said: “That’s the nature of football. People will look at ages first but if you look at the stats you’ll find he probably played in more than 90 per cent of Oldham’s games last season and played more than 80 minutes in the vast majority of them.

“He’s a very fit guy and hugely experienced having played at the highest level – he was with Newcastle only a couple of years ago – so that shouldn’t be an issue.

“He’ll bring a different

dimension to our game.

“He’s strong and physical but has very good feet, can link up play and I think he will do really well for us.

“The manager is still looking to strengthen the squad,

we need to have healthy

competition for places and

Shefki will bring that up

front.”

While Fenlon will be looking for goals from Kuqi, who has been capped 62 times for Finland, Williams believes his experience

will prove invaluable to Hibs’ teenage hitmen Danny

Handling and Ross Caldwell.

He said: “I think young Ross in particular will benefit. He’s a bit more physical than Danny but there’s a lot Ross can take from watching Shefki in training and in games, the way he plays.

“I’m sure he’ll be a good

acquisition.”