Pat Fenlon says Hibs may make Irish signings

Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon. Picture: SNS
Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon. Picture: SNS
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HIBS boss Pat Fenlon has revealed he could return to Ireland to further strengthen his Easter Road squad having mounted a spying trip to watch Irish youngsters there in international action.

Fenlon looked on as the Republic’s Under-19 squad played the Czech Republic and their Under-21s took on Holland earlier this month and admitted he had liked what he had seen.

Recruited by Hibs from Dublin club Bohemians, Fenlon made Sligo Rovers hitman Eoin Doyle his first signing as he began what has been a radical overhaul of the squad he ­inherited from his predecessor, Colin Calderwood; the changes he has made taking Hibs from second bottom in the SPL to battling for a top-six finish and a place in Europe.

Fenlon used his knowledge of Irish football to bring midfielder Gary Deegan, who had played for him in Dublin, to Edinburgh from Coventry City and gave Bohemians defender Evan McMillan a trial earlier this season.

Now he has revealed he could make further signings from his homeland. He said: “We are looking at one or two younger players in Ireland to try and sign up. It’s a good market. There are a lot of good players around. I definitely saw over the two games of the 19s and 21s that we’ve got some good prospects coming through.”

Meanwhile, Fenlon will be concentrating on ensuring Hibs, currently sitting fourth in the table, secure a top-six ­finish, something he still sees as “a big ask” given that a mere five points separate second from eighth with the split only a few games away.

He told Ireland’s “It’s important from a confidence point-of-view and obviously from a financial point-of-view as you are getting bigger games against the bigger teams.”