Mark Kerr has joined Hibernian for pre-season training as he seeks a new club.
The former Aberdeen and Dundee United midfielder spent the second half of last season with Dunfermline and has been offered a new deal by the Pars, but is keen to explore his options. The 30-year-old, who turned out for Polish champions Slask Wroclaw in a friendly 11 days ago, has teamed up with former Hearts defender Alan Maybury in training with the Easter Road outfit.
The out-of-contract pair have not been promised a deal if they impress, but will still be eager to catch the eye of manager Pat Fenlon as the Irishman overhauls his squad following a summer of multiple departures.
Maybury is on the look-out for a new club after spending the last two seasons with St Johnstone and the Republic of Ireland international is happy to have been given the opportunity to use Hibs’ impressive East Mains training facility.
The former Leeds United and Leicestery City full-back said: “I think my agent knows Pat Fenlon, that’s how it came about, and I don’t want to get left behind in terms of the pre-season work. It’s not an easy time for clubs, with their budgets and everything else, and the main thing is I make sure I’m right for whatever happens. I’m just training at the moment, but it’s all about who’s paying your wages.”
With Eoin Doyle the only senior striker on the club’s books and no recognised first-team goalkeeper, Fenlon’s priorities remain a goalscorer and a shot-stopper. It is understood he wants to retain Mark Brown, but the 31-year-old has not yet agreed an extension to the two-and-a-half-year deal he penned in January 2010.
Brown – who finished the season as number one following an injury to Graham Stack, who has since been freed – is back training with the club, but 20-year-old Callum Antell and 19-year-old Paul Grant remain the two most senior ’keepers at the club as they prepare for tomorrow’s first pre-season friendly against Romanians Rapid Bucharest at the Grangemouth Stadium.
With Leigh Griffiths having returned to Wolves at the end of his loan spell and Garry O’Connor close to a move back to Russia, the other end of the pitch remains a concern for Fenlon. However, even once he does supplement his strike force he is keen to find more goals from elsewhere in his team after watching them net just 40 last term – 27 of which were scored by Griffiths and O’Connor.
Fenlon said on Hibernian TV: “We want to share the goals around. Last year, Leigh and Garry got us plenty of goals, but we didn’t get too many from other areas. So it’s important that we mix it up. We don’t have many strikers at present. Doyler (Doyle) is the main striker and we’ve some young boys in Danny Handling and Ross Caldwell. We’re looking to bring one in there as well. So we need to share the load and if we can chip in with more goals it will make everything easier.”