Hibs defender Kos Sadiki hopes Finn Harps loan spell can boost Albania hopes

Centre-back hopes Irish loan spell can catapult him into international spotlight

By Patrick McPartlin
Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 1:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 2:36 pm
Kos Sadiki (#44) trains with the Hibs first team squad at East Mains
Kos Sadiki (#44) trains with the Hibs first team squad at East Mains

Hibs defender Kos Sadiki qualifies to represent five different countries - but the 21-year-old only has one nation in mind when it comes to the international stage.

Born in Germany in 1998, six months after the outbreak of the Kosovo War, Sadiki emigrated to Canada with his family at a young age and went on to represent Canada up to Under-23 level, most recently at the 2018 Toulon Tournament.

Now, though, the centre-back is keen to represent Albania and is already in the process of switching passports.

Speaking to DonegalSportHub about his time at local League of Ireland side Finn Harps, Sadiki said: "I had a conversation with the Canada manager after Toulon and told him I had decided to play for Albania.

"I am transitioning over now in terms of my passport. My family and I are patriotic - I am proud to be Albanian, the family blood is from Albania.

"It was never an option before due to the passport situation. Canada took care of my parents and grandparents. It was complicated but I decided I wanted to play for Albania."

Sadiki, who sealed a season-long loan spell with Finn Harps during the January transfer window, is hopeful that his time in the League of Ireland can help him achieve his goal of representing Albania, although the coronavirus outbreak has curtailed football for the foreseeable.

There could also be a familiar face in the international squad if the former Stoke City youngster realises his dream.

Easter Road team-mate Florian Kamberi has a similar family background and like Sadiki represented one country at youth level - Switzerland - before pledging his allegiance to the Eagles.

For now though, Sadiki is just glad to have the chance to play regular first-team football in Ballybofey, adding: "I want to play for Albania and that will depend on how I do at Finn Harps this season.

"If I get good games at this level and in this league, it will make a huge difference.

"I just want good performances and to get experience playing first-team football in a professional league."

Despite plying his trade across the Irish Sea for the time being, Sadiki is still in regular contact with Hibs. Prior to his loan switch he was a regular in Lee Makel’s development side, and scored a memorable winner against Celtic at East Mains in a reserve clash in November.

Sporting Director Graeme Mathie is often on the other end of the phone along with the club's physiotherapists, while Academy chief Eddie May is also keeping tabs on the defender who has been playing in a back-three with Finn Harps, mirroring the tactical set-up favoured by Easter Road head coach Jack Ross.

Sadiki added: "I speak with Hibs every week after games. There isn't much different actually and the sessions are similar. [Finn Harps] usually train Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, play Friday and do recovery on Saturday.

"The only difference is that at Hibs, I'd be in at 9am and done by 2pm and here we train at night."

With football on an indefinite hiatus, Sadiki and his four housemates are struggling to fill the void.

"There isn't too much to do. It's getting boring, I suppose," he admitted. "We've done a lot as a group but we're struggling with no Wi-Fi and just using data on our phones the whole time. It's horrible - and we've no xBox yet."