Ex-Hibs captain James McPake reveals why he chose a move to Easter Road over Hearts
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Former Hibs captain James McPake had the option to move to Hearts when he joined the Easter Road side in January 2012.
McPake had featured just six times for the English side that season and was in search of game time having missed a large chunk of the previous campaign.
The desire for a run of appearances played into his thinking as he weighed up his options, noting Hearts had a strong defensive pairing in Andy Webster and Marius Zaliukas, while he may have had a better chance in Pat Fenlon’s side.
“I spoke to Jim McIntyre [Dunfermline boss], spoke to Pat and the Hearts one [Paulo Sergio] at the time,” he told his former Dundee team-mate Simon Ferry on Open Goal.
“Hearts, at the time when I looked, had probably the better centre-backs so was making sure where I go I am going to play.
“It was through [former Hearts player, now agent] Allan Preston. That’s genuine, there was an interest there to go on loan to Hearts, to go on loan to Hibs, to go on loan to Dunfermline.
“Jim Leishman phoned me, Jim McIntyre phoned me. Leish was back at Dunfermline at the time but don’t know in what capacity.
“I looked through it and would have been confident going and playing at Dunfermline, I was confident going and playing at Hibs. I wasn’t so much [at Hearts]. Webster and Zaliukas at the time.
“Hearts fans would be saying I wouldn’t have even made their bench which is fair enough, that’s fine for them.”
McPake was won over the size of Hibs, the facilities and the way they looked after their players.
It was a big reason for him making the move permanent in the summer despite originally arriving just to get games.
“I looked at it and it wasn’t even a choice,” he said. “No disrespect to Dunfermline, and I mean that wholeheartedly, but the chance to go to Hibs…
“The training ground, the stadium, it was a proper club. Coventry was a proper club, so was Hibs. You know in Scotland there are not many.”