Earthquakes keeper gets extended trial at Hibs

Nana Attakora
Nana Attakora
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Hibs boss Pat Fenlon today revealed he’s offered Canadian internationalist Nana Attakora an extended trial at Easter Road.

The former San Jose Earthquakes central defender has been training with Fenlon’s squad in recent days but is now likely to spend an extra week in Edinburgh as Fenlon continues to cast an eye over him.

Although the transfer window is now shut – Fenlon having brought in eight new players during January – signing the 22-year-old remains a possibility as he is a free agent and can agree a contract at any time.

The 6ft 2in stopper began his career with Toronto, winning three Canadian League titles and being named that country’s Under-20 player of the year twice in succession before moving to the MLS.

Capped at every level by Canada from Under-17 to full international – he has two caps – Attakora’s contract with San Jose has expired and, although they are keen to re-sign him, he’s equally determined to explore the possibility of playing in Europe.

However, while he has obviously impressed sufficiently to be invited to spend a few more days at East Mains, Fenlon has also admitted that in having already brought in Eoin Doyle, George Francomb, James McPake, Tom Soares, Pa Kujabi, Jorge Claros, Matt Doherty, and Roy O’Donovan in recent weeks, he’s “probably gone as far as I can”.

But in saying that, Fenlon insisted he was continuing to look to the next phase of rebuilding his squad, readily conceding the new arrivals, the vast majority of whom are on loan, were quick fixes intended to address Hibs’ immediate priority, namely escaping the SPL relegation zone.

And he revealed that if “something exceptional” were to come up he’d be knocking at the door of chairman Rod Petrie.

Other than confirm he was having an extended look at Attakora, Fenlon would only say: “We’ve had a few trialists in and we’ll continue to look at players in relation to moving on looking to the future.”

To that end, Fenlon believes some of those currently at Easter Road on a temporary basis could win themselves a more permanent stay between now and the end of the season while conceding there were others like on-loan Wolves defender Doherty who were more likely to return to their “parent” clubs or move elsewhere.

He said: “The goal at the end of the season is just to make sure we stay in the league. There are a few of them we would like to keep but there are one or two we won’t be in the position of being able to keep.

“Matt, I think, will go back down and probably be very close to Mick McCarthy’s first team next season.

“For one or two others, they are here and can maybe get themselves in to position to get a contract if they perform to the level I know they are capable of doing and one or two others can perform and get contracts elsewhere.”