Hibs sign another Cyprus international as summer spending spree gathers speed

The Hibs women summer recruitment spree is gathering pace ahead of the new SWPL1 season with the signing of another Cypriot international.

Midfielder Eleni Giannou joins the club from her native Cyprus, where she played most recently for Apollon Ladies.

The 28-year-old becomes manager Dean Gibson’s seventh foreign addition of the summer, giving the Hibs squad an increasingly cosmopolitan look and feel as the club makes the transition to full-time professional status.

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Her arrival follows the signings of fellow Cypriot international Krystyna Freda, Swedish forward Nor Mustafa, Norwegian goalkeeper Benedicte Håland, Trinidadian defender Liana Hinds, American forward Crystal Thomas and English midfielder Ava Kuyken.

New Hibs signing Eleni Giannou playing for Cyrpus against Scotland’s Hayley Lauder at Easter Road in August 2019. Picture: Ross MacDonald / SNS

Departures include goalkeeper Gabby English, who has retired, and attacking midfielder Amy Gallacher, who has moved to Celtic.

Giannou first appeared for Apollon in 2010 and returned to the club after a spell at PAOK in Greece. She played for Apollon alongside fellow summer signing Freda and has 10 international caps to her name.

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She played at Easter Road for Cyprus in an 8-0 defeat by Scotland in the Euro Qualifiers in August 2019.

Speaking about her move to Hibs, Giannou said: “I am excited to sign with Hibernian and take this next step in my life. I always wanted to play for a club with a lot of history, and I am lucky to be able to do that next season.

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Hibs have now made seven summer signings from outwith Scotland for the new SWPLi campaign

Manager Dean Gibson said: “Eleni is very similar to the signing we made last week with Krystyna – she is coming into the peak years of her career and comes to the club with very good experience!

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“She has played Champions League and international football. She’s already experienced a game at Easter Road, although let’s hope next time she plays on the hallowed turf, the result is a better one for her personally.

“Eleni is a midfielder who blends in well with the other ones we have at the club – very quick, aggressive and extremely energetic. I’m really excited to see what she will bring to the club. I really feel she is suited to Scottish football.”

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Hibs played at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Stadium last season, but an announcement on playing at the revamped Meadowbank Stadium in the forthcoming season is expected soon.