Hibs finding team bonding challenging in a period of serious bedding-in

In a busy start to 2022, it has been all about bedding in and building understanding at Hibs.

Hibs captain Paul Hanlon has the task of welcoming new players into the group.
Hibs captain Paul Hanlon has the task of welcoming new players into the group.

With a new manager and coaching staff, four new signings, as well as another two additions signed up months ago on pre-contracts, there has been significant change at the Leith club. Add to that all the ongoing covid restrictions and captain Paul Hanlon has had to adapt.

"Young lads are coming in, full of energy, willing to impress. But a few of them are settling into a new country. It's been good having this break where boys can concentrate on impressing the manager in training and anyone moving house can still get those things settled so when the matches start again we’re all ready to go.”

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Shaun Maloney’s men travel to face Celtic on Monday night on cinch Premiership duty, then they have a Scottish Cup tie against Cove Rangers on Thursday, as games come at them fast.

Harry Clarke spent the first part of this season on loan at Ross County.

"The team-bonding side of it is difficult,” admits Hanlon. “We are still split among a few different changing-rooms in the training ground, so that day-to-day contact is not what it used to be and any social activities just don't happen now.

“It's vital to spend time among all the lads on the training pitch or in the gym and, as captain, I try to learn about the new lads and make sure they are settled in. We've got staff whose role it is to help lads with houses, cars or whatever. In terms of settling into the team, I've a big role to play as captain.”

But with Maloney just a few weeks into the job, everyone has faced some bedding in.

“He's trying to give us as much information as he possibly can,” explained Hanlon. “He's backing us all the way to play how he wants and we’re all buying into doing it as best as possible. I suppose the proof is in the pudding when it comes to the matches. If we can implement it effectively I think we’ll be a really good team to watch but we need to get results as well.”

New defender Rocku Bushiri makes his presence felt in Hibs training.

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