Kyle McClelland joins Hibs as Easter Road side snaps up former Rangers kid

Hibs have completed the signing of former Rangers defender Kyle McClelland on a three-year deal.

Saturday, 18th June 2022, 1:58 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th June 2022, 2:01 pm

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The Easter Road side have an option to extend the contract for a further year and are hopeful that the 20-year-old can hone his skills in the development team and push for a first-team place.

The centre-back is the first signing of the summer for the Capital club’s revived second-string team, which will play games against a number of under-23 teams from England in a friendly competition dubbed the ‘1875 Invitational’.

Blackburn Rovers, Brentford, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, and Queens Park Rangers will face Hibs and each other home and away as part of a specially arranged games programme aimed at testing youngsters and helping to progress their careers.

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McClelland, who came through the youth ranks at Ibrox, was a regular in the Light Blues under-18s and B team, and represented the team in the UEFA Youth League as well as spending time on loan at Falkirk.

He has also been capped by Northern Ireland at under-17, under-19, and under-21 level after switching allegiances from Scotland.

It is understood that he was offered new terms by Rangers but opted to try his luck elsewhere as he targets eventual regular first-team football.

McClelland will join the Hibs’ development squad where he will play alongside the likes of João Baldé, Tom Carter, and Emmanuel Johnson.

Kyle McClelland has joined Hibs' development squad following his Ibrox exit

Academy Director Steve Kean is hopeful that McClelland can eventually challenge for a place in the Easter Road first team.

He said: “We’re delighted we’ve managed to bring a player of Kyle’s quality to the club and into the development team.

“Supporters will see a cultured centre-back that’s excellent at breaking lines and making passes. He’s a real modern-day centre-half who is very comfortable stepping out with the ball and building attacks from the back.

“Defensively he’s a very good one-on-one defender, which shows he has real belief in his own ability.

“Our development squad games programme will really push him on as he experiences different types of opposition, different challenges and different experiences.

"We aim to develop his all-round game so he can eventually become a first-team player.”