Ryan Shanley heads out on loan as Hibs send striker to Finn Harps
The 20-year-old, who made his debut for the Easter Road side in the 3-0 win at St Mirren earlier this season, has agreed a temporary switch until at least June.
Hibs' Sporting Director Graeme Mathie was pleased to have sorted out the young striker with another loan after his promising spell with Lowland League side Kelty Hearts was cut short when lower-league football in Scotland was indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mathie explained: “Ryan was playing regularly and scoring goals for Kelty Hearts before the latest restrictions cut short his spell there.
"Part of our strategic plan to develop young players is to look to place them in different countries or leagues on loan so they benefit from a range of challenges and experiences.
“We have dealt with Finn Harps recently and we know that Ryan will be well looked after by Ollie Horgan and his staff.
“Not only will he take on the challenge of competing in the League of Ireland, but he’ll also learn from the experience of living away from home for the first time and taking responsibility of his training and development away from the Hibernian Training Centre.
“The League of Ireland is of a good standard and we look forward to seeing Ryan’s progress between now and the summer.
"We hope he returns to us ready to compete for a first-team place.”
Shanley added: “I'd like to thank Kelty Hearts for the opportunity and I'm sorry it was cut short the way it was. Hopefully the lower leagues can be up and running again as soon as possible.
"Now I'm excited for the next few weeks and months in a totally different environment. Everything I've heard and seen so far is positive and I'm looking forward to getting started properly."
Shanley will be reunited with his former Hibs development squad team-mate Kos Sadiki, who made the move to Ballybofey on a permanent deal in the summer of 2020 while Paisley-born defender Mark Russell spent time with Morton before joining the Donegal outfit.
Shanley told the Harps website: “When the opportunity came up I was in touch with Kos to see what he thought. He told me he thought it’d be a good move for me, to come in and play at a good level with a good group.
“I’m delighted to be here. The boys have been great welcoming me in and I’m looking forward to the first game against Bohemians.
"The main thing for me is to get minutes on the pitch, try to score as many goals as I can and do my best to help the team and get points on the board.”
Harps boss Horgan added: “Ryan has done well so far since he’s come in.
"It’s not easy for a young player to move to a new country, especially with everything going on at the moment.
"He gives us another option up front and hopefully we can give him an opportunity to get some experience under his belt and improve his game.”