Several English clubs keen to line up friendly with Hibs
Paul Heckingbottom has revealed how Hibs were in demand by English clubs keen to arrange a pre-season friendly with the Capital outfit.
Premier League side Newcastle United will travel to Easter Road for the first time in 35 years to face Heckingbottom’s team on Tuesday, July 30 – just five days before Hibs play their first league game of the new season.
While admitting the timing of the game wasn’t ideal so close to the opening Premiership match – with Hibs due to find out who their opponents will be that day this Friday – Heckingbottom was delighted to have his players take on such opposition.
However, while revealing he was keen to have the game with the Magpies, Heckingbottom said: “Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday were also interested in coming up to Edinburgh to play us. The fact Newcastle are only a couple of hours down the road will, I imagine, mean they’ll bring a massive support to Easter Road and we’ll have the sort of atmosphere the fans will enjoy.”
The visit of Newcastle will bring to an end a hectic July in which Hibs will play eight matches, friendlies away to Arbroath, Dunfermline and Carlisle interspersed with their four Betfred Cup group matches which will see them play Alloa Athletic and Arbroath at home and Stirling Albion and Elgin City away.
The fact Hibs will play Arbroath, newly promoted to the Championship as winners of League One, twice within the space of three weeks was, insisted Heckingbottom not an issue as far as he was concerned, his priority being to draw up a schedule of fixtures designed to hone his players’ fitness.
He said: “It doesn’t matter to me. It’s something that’s common place. We played Hearts twice in quick succession last season and the way things are that if you draw a particular side in one of the cup competitions you could be playing each other three times in a month.”