New Hibs signing Tom James so impressed by Paul Heckingbottom presentation
Hibs boss Paul Heckingbottom has made his fifth signing of the summer so far, snapping up Yeovil Town defender Tom James barely 24 hours after striker Christian Doidge made the move to Easter Road.
Like Doidge, who cost a “significant six-figure sum” from English League Two outfit Forest Green Rovers, James has penned a three-year deal, joining previous arrivals Scott Allan, Adam Jackson and Joe Newell at Easter Road as Heckingbottom continues to revamp his squad for the coming season. As revealed by The Evening News, the 23-year-old, below, spent Sunday night with his new team-mates as they enjoyed Paul Hanlon’s Testimonial Dinner at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange, and he has now completed the formalities having become a free agent after Yeovil were relegated to the National League.
Although he predominantly featured as a right-back for The Glovers, the former Welsh youth internationalist is comfortable anywhere across the back-line and will add further competition alongside skipper David Gray, Darren McGregor, Hanlon, Lewis Stevenson, Ryan Porteous and Jackson in that area.
Revealing James, who almost signed for West Bromwich Albion in a £450,000 move last summer, was no stranger to him, Heckingbottom said: “He’s a highly-rated young player who can operate in a number of positions, which is obviously advantageous when we want to run with a smaller group.
“I know Tom well and we have seen him play many times. I’m delighted he has bought into what we want to achieve here because he had a lot of other offers. Tom has good quality, is composed on the ball and has a great attitude to improve.”
As was the case with Doidge, James revealed that Heckingbottom’s in-depth presentation during signing talks had helped convince him to make the move to Edinburgh, saying: “The gaffer’s presentation was very detailed which, straight away, showed how keen he was on me.
“As a footballer that’s what you want. You want the manager to be on your side from the start and I feel like he definitely is. I want to repay him for that.
“I think he wants me to be a full-back who gets forward, creates chances for others and a few for myself.
“First and foremost, my job is to defend but I do like to get up and down the flank for the full