Hibs’ Tom James hoping to catch Ryan Giggs’ eye with Wales call-up

Tom James believes swapping League Two football in England with Yeovil Town for Hibs and the Scottish Premiership will help him catch the eye of Welsh boss Ryan Giggs.

Monday, 1st July 2019, 2:18 pm
Tom James has signed a three-year deal at Hibs. Pic: SNS
Tom James has signed a three-year deal at Hibs. Pic: SNS

The 23-year-old became head coach Paul Heckingbottom’s fifth signing of the summer but, he revealed, he didn’t need too much persuasion to make the move from Somerset to Edinburgh with a night out at Paul Hanlon’s Testimonial Dinner helping convince him.

James revealed he first heard of Hibs’ interest towards the end of last season and although his three-year deal wasn’t agreed until last week, he had already set his heart on heading north of the border.

He said: “It’s a relief to have got things sorted. It felt like a long time coming, even though it wasn’t that long in the grand scheme of things.

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“My agent told me towards the end of last season that Hibs were interested and, to be honest, I didn’t know a lot about them or the League. But they sent me a presentation that showed off the city, the club, what they wanted to do, and straight away that was a massive plus.”

Ex-Inverness Caley player Gary Warren was a team-mate of James’ at Huish Park and he’s convinced that the former Welsh Under-19 internationalist will shine at a bigger club such as Hibs and catch the eye of Giggs.

And that’s something James himself is hoping for. Admitting to Hibs TV that thought had also been in his mind as he mulled over his move to the capital, he said: “I thought I’d be more in view for the Welsh squad.

“It’s very flattering what Gary had to say about me and hopefully if all goes well, then I’ll get a call-up.”

Heckingbottom’s by now famed presentation to potential signings also impressed, James saying: “It was amazing the detail he went into. For a player that’s exactly what you want. It was something new, something I’d not experienced before, so that also played a part in me coming here.”

James has “enjoyed” his first few days of pre-season training, feeling he has already settled in with that night out with the guys who were about to become his new team-mates at the Corn Exchange.

He said: “It definitely helped. The off-pitch things like that help more than on the pitch. That’s just football after all, whereas you can get to know them on a more personal level.

“I’ve now had a few days of training and I’m ready to start playing some games.”

Although primarily a right-back, James has the versatility to also play in midfield or to slot into central defence, something he sees as a virtue rather than a tag some players dread.

He said: “I quite like it. It gives me more opportunities to play if I’m not a one-position player so I like the fact I’m versatile.

“My best position is probably at right-back, I like to get up and down the pitch to try and create chances and get a few goals.”