Tim Clancy deal is first of new Hibs players influx

HIBS fans can expect an influx of new faces at Easter Road over the next few weeks after boss Pat Fenlon took the first step towards rebuilding his squad with the signing of Irish defender Tim Clancy.

The former Millwall, Kilmarnock and Motherwell star has agreed a two-year deal, turning his back on the prospect of Champions League football at Fir Park to make the move to Edinburgh.

But he’s expected to be just the first in a series of signings by Fenlon who, as the club itself has acknowledged, faces a huge task in building for the future following the past two seasons which have seen Hibs finish tenth and then 11th in the SPL table.

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Fenlon has been linked with an ever-growing number of names in recent weeks including Partick Thistle midfielder Paul Cairney and Carlisle’s Slovakian defender Lubomir Michalik while Hibs fans would love to see Coventry City stopper James McPake return on a permanent basis.

The Hibs manager, though, today refused to speculate on who may follow Clancy, content only to say: “We have identified where we need to strengthen. We are speaking to players of the quality we want and who will improve the team.

“There’s been a lot of e-mails and phone calls but that’s as much as I would like to say at this stage.”

Fenlon was, nevertheless, delighted to have snapped up 28-year-old Clancy on a free transfer, revealing his new signing is poised to fill the right back berth which has been a problem position not only for himself but his predecessors.

Over the past couple of seasons a succession of players such as Michael Hart, Richie Towell, David Wotherspoon, David Stephens, and George Francomb have played there with varying degrees of success but Clancy, while versatile enough to play anywhere across the back four, admitted right back was his favourite position. He said: “I played right-back all my time at Kilmarnock, at centre-back in some games and left-back in others but I’d probably see myself as a right-back or centre-half.”

Hibs, meanwhile, were today hoping to confirm whether their proposed pre-season friendly against Union Berlin in Germany next month will go ahead.