Joao Baldé: Hibs youngster hoping to add goals to his game on loan at East Fife
Joao Baldé hopes he can add more goals to his game after joining East Fife on loan from Hibs.
The 20-year-old midfielder joined Hibs in January from Civil Service Strollers before being loaned back to the Lowland League side for the remainder of the season.
Baldé came through the academy at Rangers before moving to Livingston in the summer of 2020 then on to Strollers for the start of the following season.
He made his East Fife debut as a first-half substitute during last Saturday’s match against Bonnyrigg Rose, and showed flashes of his trickery.
Baldé said: “I felt comfortable when I came on because I’d already trained with the boys on Thursday. It was good the manager had the confidence to put me on, so that was good.
“I’m a creative player, I like to go and make things happen. I’m happy to play anywhere in the midfield, but I don’t mind whether I play as long as I can help the team.
“Last season when I was at Civil I scored quite a few goals. That’s what I’m trying to add to my game, scoring goals; so hopefully I can keep developing that side and get more goals.”
East Fife boss Stevie Crawford, the former Hibs striker, believes Baldé’s versatility will be an asset for his League Two squad.
Crawford said: “We are delighted to add Joao to our squad. He brings something different to what we already have, and he can play in a number of positions which gives us more options. He is very comfortable on the ball, has good energy and we are looking forward to working with him this season.”
The Fifers boss wants his squad to be strengthened further but is struggling to get deals over the line
Crawford added: “We have got budget to get players in – it’s not a case of my hands are tied in terms of that – but it’s proving hard to get deals over the line at the moment.
"That’s not an excuse, that’s reality. I’m aware that we need to strengthen the squad; it’s going to be a long season and we need to try to get at least three more bodies in.
“I’ve got the budget there to do it, but if you’ve not got boys prepared to come and play at League 2 level, then what do you do? You can’t wave a magic wand. I understand there are frustrations there with supporters, but I’m not taking this lightly.
"If they want, they can come and look at my laptop and see how many players I’ve looked into over the summer, along with my coaching staff – everybody that’s working at the club is bringing players to our attention, we’ve just got to keep fighting until we get the boys over the line to help strengthen the squad for the challenges that we face.
“As much as I like working with young players, we’ve got to get the right type we bring in, not just young boy after young boy, because there has to be leaders within the group.”