By: Hibernian Media on 10 Jul, 2020 10:35
It’s the standard new signing question, but what was it that attracted you to Hibernian instead of accepting one of the other offers you had on the table?
First off, it is good to finally have things over the line and I am really happy to be here. From the minute I got off the phone with the gaffer and Graeme Mathie it was something I was massively interested in. No-one had to explain the size of the club to me. Speaking to other boys who have been here or know the place, everyone spoke highly of the club. It was an easy decision to make. I had a few options, but this was the one place where I wanted to end up.
Your name was out there as a target for Hibernian this summer and that led to a few familiar faces singing your name, not least Danny Swanson. Who did you speak to and what kind of feedback did you get?
Swanny’s a Hibs fan who enjoyed his time here and I obviously know Liam Craig from St Johnstone, who was at Hibs previously as well. Both said it’s a great place to play football and that’s why I’m so excited to get going. I think my most enjoyable game for St Johnstone was actually against Hibs, which is funny to say now given what’s happened. We won 1-0 with a late winner. It was a good footballing game and that’s what I’ve always experienced coming up against Hibs. They’re always easy on the eye, with a lot of good players and I can see that first-hand now. I’m looking forward to getting in amongst it and playing in front of a large crowd at some point.
What do you see yourself adding to the squad?
First and foremost, which should be a given, I’ll bring my work-rate. I go out and give my all in every game. As a wide man I’m expected to bring goals and assists to the team. Beyond that, I’ll offer protection to my full-back and hopefully build up a good relationship with him. I’ll bring energy, drive and hopefully contribute to the attacking areas of the pitch.
How has it been so far? You’ll have experienced different kinds of pre-season at different clubs, but this has been a shock to the system for everyone.
I kept myself ticking over at home. For the first few days we were given our kit to wash at home and we were outside doing our socially distanced training. Then we were straight back in the car, ready to do it all again the next day. It’s been different but now we’ve had the green light to get back to contact training then it feels more like what we all know and enjoy.
You volunteered to come in and train before the deal was over the line to get yourself in the best possible condition. You weren’t tempted to pull out of any of those tackles until things were finalised?
I’ve just been desperate to get away from the house for a few hours! I had new-born twins at the start of the lockdown, so it was nice to get a break from them and the missus for a little while. It was good to come in, meet the boys. It can be daunting going into a new dressing room and having to get to know everyone on that first day, but it’s worked in my favour that we’ve been straight into training. Thing seem to be progressing, so hopefully it won’t be too long until we’re back to some sort of normality. We’re all looking forward to the games, even if it’s going to be a while before the fans might get into matches.
Have you watched any of the football that’s been played of late elsewhere?
I watched the first round of the German games but lost interest quite quickly. It’s not the same without the fans. I’ve had an interest in the English Premier League return – mostly because of my Fantasy Football team. I’ve watched a game a week and it’s been nice just having football back. It’s a tough one on the fake crowd noise! I think the guys who sort that have been learning as they go. In the first week they had ‘crowds’ getting excited over shots that were nowhere near the target. It’s a big job to get that right.
You’ve at least had the chance to build up gradually rather than being thrown straight back into games.
The gaffer’s very good here. He’s really organised. He lets us know what we’re in for days in advance. We know our plan for the month and the games we have coming up if everything goes to plan. The games are the carrot at the end of the hard training. With the fixtures out, we’re moving in the right direction.