New signing Shefki Kuqi impressed by passion of Hibs support

SHEFKI KUQI professed to being overwhelmed by the passion of the Hibernian fans during his first taste of Scottish football after signing a one-year contract at Easter Road.

The well-travelled striker became Hibernian’s eighth summer signing ahead of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at St Mirren Park.

The Finn can list the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle and Blackburn as his former clubs and has 62 caps for his country.

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But he was still taken aback by the atmosphere of last Sunday’s Edinburgh derby as Hibs fought back for a 1-1 draw. The 35-year-old told the club’s official website: “That was my first taste of Scottish football and I was overwhelmed by the passion and enthusiasm shown by the Hibernian supporters.

“Even when Hibernian went a goal down, the crowd kept backing the team and were rewarded with a good performance – that definitely impressed me.

“If the players and supporters can work together then I believe we can enjoy some good times at Hibernian and I’m excited about the next challenge in my career.

“I’ve played all around Europe and in some top leagues such as the Premiership in England and now I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing in the SPL.

“The Hibernian team is still developing and I’m excited about using the experience I’ve gained to help the team get to where we need to be.”

Kuqi, who played for Oldham last season, added: “Hopefully the supporters will recognise that I will give my all for the benefit of the team and that I will score some goals.”

Kuqi will provide competition for Leigh Griffiths and Eoin Doyle, who started against Hearts.

Manager Pat Fenlon said: “We pinpointed the forward department as an area that urgently needed strengthening, but it was crucial that we made the right signing.”