Hibs defender agrees loan move as transfer business continues at Easter Road
Hibs defender Kyle McClelland has joined Queen of the South on loan for the 2023/24 campaign, teaming up with Easter Road colleague Murray Johnson in Dumfries. The former Rangers youngster spent time on loan with Cove Rangers last season after making a handful of appearances for Hibs in the League Cup group stages but will gain further senior SPFL experience under the watchful eye of former Hibs midfielder Marvin Bartley.
The 21-year-old centre-back put in some strong showings in defence alongside player-coach Darren McGregor for the Hibs development squad towards the end of last season and was part of the team that won the SPFL Reserve League title – coincidentally after defeating Queen of the South at Palmerston.
McClelland has so far made four appearances for Hibs, and played ten times for Cove last season, registering one assist in a 3-1 victory over eventual Championship title-winners Dundee.
His time in the north-east was blighted by injury, and the Northern Ireland under-21 internationalist missed nine games with an ankle problem. His last of nine league appearances for the Toonsers came in a 2-1 defeat by Morton in which he was booked on 29 minutes and subbed off on 31 minutes.
Hibs boss Lee Johnson said: “Kyle is a young defender with a lot of positive attributes and at his age he needs to have regular game-time to progress. We believe Queen of the South gives him the perfect platform to work on weaknesses in his game and to strengthen the positives. I look forward to seeing how Kyle benefits from this move.”