Graeme Mathie reveals how Hibs will prepare for Europa Conference League opponents in Covid times

Graeme Mathie has assured Hibs fans the Easter Road side will be fully prepared for their Europa Conference League opponents despite being unable to scout either side in person.
Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie. Picture: SNSHibs sporting director Graeme Mathie. Picture: SNS
Hibs sporting director Graeme Mathie. Picture: SNS

Jack Ross’ men will face either Mons Calpe Sports Club from Gibraltar or Andorran side Santa Coloma in the second qualifying round.

Typically, both teams would be watched thoroughly but, due to ongoing restrictions as a result of the global pandemic, Hibs will be unable to send someone to watch the matches live.

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However, sporting director Mathie explains that they’ll still be in a strong position to be fully informed when the matches take place in July.

He told the Hibs website: “We are lucky in that the draw allowed us to gain good information from Scottish Clubs who have played in Gibraltar recently – our head of medical Nathan Ring has also been to Andorra recently as head physio with England U21 so we have key information on hotels, training venues and logistics.

"Pre-COVID, we would look to send a delegation to check these aspects directly in addition to sending scouts to watch the matches but for a variety of reasons that’s unlikely to be feasible at this time.

"Our match preparation will reflect our process for league matches.

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"Euan Fotheringham is first team analyst and he will be able to access video footage of both opponents to pull together a detailed document for Jack and the coaching staff so whilst we may not have scouts attending live matches, the information we will gain prior to the game will be on par with our domestic league matches.

"We are also being well supported by our travel partners Consilium Sports who have already sourced an aircraft and suitable airports for both venues.

"We’re looking forward to the start of our European campaign and hope we can have a good number of supporters in the stadium for the first leg at Easter Road.”

The winner of Mons Calpe and Santa Coloma will be decided over two legs on Thursday, July 8 and Thursday, July 15. The winner will then travel to Edinburgh for the first leg at Easter Road before the return match takes place a week later.

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