RYAN McGIVERN has revealed he turned down tempting offers in England to remain at Easter Road because he has unfinished business in Edinburgh.
McGivern was widely expected to return down south following a season on loan with Hibs but has now agreed a two-year deal with the Capital club which will officially kick in when his current contract with Manchester City runs out at the end of the month.
McGivern’s decision was announced on the same day Welsh international midfielder Owain Tudur Jones penned a similar deal as boss Pat Fenlon’s plans for the coming season took a further step forward, the Irishman having snapped up St Johnstone star Liam Craig on a pre-contract basis a few months ago.
While Tudur Jones and Craig will be new faces when Fenlon’s squad returns for pre-season training a fortnight on Monday, McGivern will cut a familiar figure, the Northern Ireland defender having made 32 appearances in a green-and -white shirt.
Today he disclosed it was the last of those matches – the Scottish Cup final defeat by Celtic – which helped persuade him to commit his immediate future to Hibs.
The 23-year-old said: “I didn’t want my time with Hibs to end on a low note with what happened at Hampden. I wanted to play my part in helping the team drive forwards.
“We’ve got a decent, young side at Hibs and we will continue to get better. I really wanted to be part of that.”
Having spent virtually all his time as a Manchester City player farmed out on loan – he had previously played at Morecambe, Leicester, Walsall, Crystal Palace and Bristol City – McGivern admitted he’d found the lure of returning to Easter Road too good to resist.
The Newry-born star said: “Last season was a great experience for me and I’ve learned a huge amount from playing regular first-team football in the SPL. There were other options available to me down south in England, but I wanted to stay with Hibs and continue my development at the club.”
Although he has already won 19 caps with Northern Ireland, Hibs boss Fenlon believes the potential of McGivern is such that he will develop into a top-class defender with Hibs.
He said: “It’s difficult sometimes to remember that he is still only 23 because of the experience he already has, both at club level and with Northern Ireland. Ryan is still learning and he has bought into what the group is trying to achieve here at the club, showing the commitment, desire and attitude to progress.
“It’s great news that we’ve been able to bring him to the club on a permanent basis. He’s a talented, young defender with a bright future.”