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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 19 September, 2019
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Fenlon relishing the challenge as he signs up with Hibs

The former Bohemians boss takes over from Colin Calderwood after putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal at Hibernian.

Image: ©INPHO/Greg Macvean

PAT FENLON HAS become the newest member of the SPL’s Irish contingent after he was officially confirmed as Hibernian manager this morning.

The former Bohemians boss takes over from Colin Calderwood who was sacked earlier this month following a disappointing run of form.

Fenlon has agreed a two-and-a-half year deal at Easter Road which begins immediately and runs until the end of the 2013/14 season.

He will be officially unveiled as manager by Hibs chairman Rod Petrie at a press conference later this afternoon.

After weeks of speculation linking him to the post, Fenlon broke his silence this morning, describing the appointment as both a great honour and a huge challenge.

“I’m really excited by the prospect of managing Hibernian; a club with a rich history and proud traditions.”

“When I came to Easter Road in March for a friendly match, while I was in charge of Bohemians, I saw close-up the tremendous potential of the club.

But in order to move Hibernian forward there will need to be a lot of hard work and a clear change in mindset shown collectively by the team.

That hard work begins tomorrow with a trip to fourth-placed St Johnstone. Hibs currently find themselves just two points off the bottom of the table and in the middle of a slump which has seen them win just one league game in the last six.

But Fenlon is confident that he has the resources to mount a turnaround and get his side playing the type of football that will make the Hibees faithful proud.

“There are a lot of quality players on Hibernian’s playing staff and it is now my job to make sure they function as a team.

“The primary goal is to provide winning football to the Hibernian supporters, who have gone through some hard times recently. But we will also try to entertain our fans in the process and put a smile on their faces.

I’m looking forward to put into practice all that I’ve learned during my nine years as a manager over in Ireland and will be giving everything I’ve got into assembling a successful Hibernian team that everybody connected to the club can be proud of.

The move to Edinburgh signals the end of Fenlon’s hugely successful spell with Bohemians.

After taking charge in January 2008, the former Shelbourne and Derry City boss  guided the Dalymount Park club to a league and cup double in his first season before successfully defending their Airtricity League title the following year.

And although Fenlon was still under contract at Bohs until the end of next season, the board was reluctant to stand in the way of a move in light of his loyalty during the club’s recent financial turmoil.

As part of Fenlon’s release agreement, Hibs have accepted the offer of a friendly against Bohs at a date to be arranged.

It was a small price to pay for Hibs chairman Rod Petrie who was delighted this morning to have finally landed his man.

“Put simply, Pat Fenlon is a winner,” Petrie said.

He has a record of winning championships and cups at different clubs, and his teams have competed regularly in Europe. This pedigree is matched by the ambition Hibernian has for sporting success.

We are all excited about what the team and supporters can achieve together under Pat Fenlon.

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Niall Kelly

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