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Posted (edited)

26 June 2023

HOGARTH SNUBS HIBS

HibsView: After having a transfer bid accepted by Rangers for their 19 year-old goalkeeper Jay Hogarth, Hibernian have been snubbed by the player who told them through his agent that he wasn't interested in joining Hibs.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

26 June 2023

HIBS SQUAD REVIEW - CENTRAL MIDFIELDERS

HibsView: After reviewing the Hibs goalkeepers and defenders, we now turn our attention to the central midfielders.

14. Stevie Mallan had a standout season, beating out the Premiership's top goalscorer Lawrence Shankland to win the Hibs Player of the Season Award. 27 year-old Mallan made 45 (9) appearances in all-competitions, scoring 11 goals, notching up a sensational 30 assists, with an average rating of 7.53.  Mallan's impressive free-kick and corner delivery  earned him a call-up to the Scotland national squad.

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After signing on a free transfer in the summer, 20. Sam Field had an impressive debut season for Hibs, making 44 (1) appearances, scoring four goals and four assists, with an average rating of 7.24. The 25 year-old Englishman was a dominating presence in midfield, dictating play and tempo in a deep lying role. 

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32. Dean McMaster is highly rated at Easter Road and is thought to have a big future ahead of him. The 20 year-old Scottish midfielder, who can also play in central defence, found it difficult to break into the 18-man matchday squad and made only one appearance for Hibs, with an average rating of 6.70. McMaster spent the second-half of the season on loan at Livingston, where he made 18 Premiership appearances with an average rating of 6.78. McMaster is yet to score a senior goal or make an assist.

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35. Kyle Magennis was another summer signing but he found it difficult to dislodge Mallan and Field from the starting line-up. The 24 year-old Scotsman will be disappointed at only making  9 (6) appearances, scoring one goal, with an average rating of 6.81. Magennis, who can also play wide right, will be looking to impress manager Stuniverse in pre-season, otherwise his future at Easter Road looks very uncertain.

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22 year-old Englishman 42. Ronan Darcy was largely tipped to establish himself in the Hibs first-team last season, but the impressive season-long form of Mallan and Field meant that didn't happen. Darcy made 19 (11) appearances, scoring four goals, with three assists, and an average rating of 7.00. Darcy will be intent on kicking-on this season and does look the most likely threat to Mallan and Field .

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There's no shortage of potential in central midfield at Easter Road with home-grown youngsters 44 . Marc Easdale55. Aaron Fraser57. Brandon Hunter and 58. Steven Bradley looking to impress manager Stuniverse and break to the first-team squad this summer.

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TRANSFER WINDOW THOUGHTS

Central midfield is one of the strongest areas of the Hibenian squad, in HibsView's opinion, with Mallan and Field dominating midfield against most teams last season and being almost ever-present. In Darcy and Magennis, Hibs have two more than competent deputies, although their opportunities were limited last season.

With Hibs manager Stuniverse keen to  increase the percentage of Scottish players in his squad, whilst lowering the average age, there are at least five young Scottish central midfielders currently impressing with their potential.

With other areas of the squad needing improvement, it's difficult to see Stuniverse signing any more midfield players this transfer window. The only concern for the Hibs manager might be the £8,000,000 release clause for foreign clubs written into Field's contract.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

27 June 2023

HIBS SWOOP FOR NICHOLSON

HibsView: Hibernian have confirmed the signing of Celtic’s 19 year-old right-winger Kevin Nicholson for £450K on a contract until the summer of 2027. When Hibernian manager Stuniverse hands Nicholson his Hibs debut, it will also be his senior debut as Nicholson didn’t make a senior appearance during his four seasons at Celtic Park.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Nicholson will prove to be a good signing. Good pace, can cross; that is key in your 4-4-2.

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Posted (edited)

29 June 2023

HIBS SQUAD REVIEW - WINGERS

HibsView: Last time we looked at the Hibs central midfielders. In a moment, we'll look at the Wingers but first, let's take a look at the Hibs depth chart across the middle.

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 7. Daryl Horgan is a 30 year-old Irish international who can play on either wing, although Hibs manager Stuniverse primarilly used him on the right last season. Horgan made 31 (13) appearances in all competitions (including three subs appearances for Ireland), scoring six goals, with eight assists for an average rating of 7.01.  Horgan's form during the season saw him recalled to the Ireland national team but, inconsistency, plus a couple of injuries, meant he never nailed down the Hibs starting spot on the right-wing as his own.

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8 Lewis Morgan is another who can play on either wing, although he was mainly used on the left last season. The 26 year-old Scotsman made 25 (5) appearances, scoring six goals, with seven assists, for an average rating of 7.05. Morgan suffered a broken collarbone on the 6th of July which hindered his opportunity to impress new Hibs manager Stuniverse. Morgan will be looking to impress this pre-season as he looks to cement his place in the team.

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10. Ben Marshall spent most of the season competing with Horgan for a spot on the right-wing. Like Horgan, the 32 year-old Englishman was unable to make the starting place his own, and a couple of niggling injuries in April and May meant Marshall was struggling to make the matchday 18-man squad by the end of the season. As one of the top earners at Hibernian, manager Stuniverse needs to be starting Marshall or looking to move him on. Marshall made 33 (12) appearances, scoring 11 goals, with seven assists, for an average rating of 7.08. The one thing in Marshall's favour is his flexible utility role, not only can Marshall play on either wing, he can also play in central midfield and at right-back, although his one appearance at right-back last season was less than impressive.

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15. Curtis Jones spent last season on loan from Liverpool and manager Stuniverse clearly saw enough in the 22 year-old Englishman to bring him back for another loan spell this season. Jones made 25 (6) appearances, scoring five goals, six assists, for an average rating of 6.98. Primarily used on the left-side in Stuniverse's preferred 4-4-2, Jones also played in the No. 10 role when Hibs went 4-2-3-1. Stuniverse demonstrated a willingness to accommodate Jones by adapting his standard 4-4-2 to push Jones further forward on the left-wing as an inverted winger much of the time. Inconsistency was a problem for Jones, who at one point was the main man down the left, and he saw less playing time in the second-half of the season. At one stage, around February-March time, HibsView thought we'd seen the last of Jones in a Hibs shirt... but here he is back on loan for another season.

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26. Glenn Middleton was a new signing last summer who never really established himself in the starting lineup. the 23-year old Scotsman had injuries in June, September and November which held him back. Middleton made 11 (9) appearances, scoring four goals, with four assists, for an average rating of 6.86. With no standout performers last season, and plenty of competition for places on both wings, Middleton needs a good pre-season if he's to kick-start his Hibs career.

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27. Kevin Nicholson is a new signing who joined Hibernian from Celtic a couple of days ago.  We don't know too much about Nicholson as he never made his senior debut for Celtic, but his non-competitive stats last season were 18 (12) appearances, with three goals, five assists, and an average rating of 6.88. Whether Nicholson is here to push the current crop of wingers for a starting place. or whether manager Stuniverse sees the 19 year-old Scotsman more as on for the future, guess we'll find that out over the next month or so.

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TRANSFER WINDOW THOUGHTS

On paper, Hibernian have four or five good wingers on their books, most of them who can play on either wing, but none of them were able to produce the consistency required to give them permanent possession of a winger's shirt last season. Marshall, Horgan and Jones, in particular, all produced scintillating match-winning performances at times, but then had games where they were essentially invisible. Morgan and Middleton both suffered injuries in the early part of the season, setting them back and making it difficult for them to impress the new manager.

With Hibs manager Stuniverse keen to  increase the percentage of Scottish players in his squad, whilst lowering the average age, the arrival of 19 year-old Kevin Nicholson fits that transfer brief perfectly and his arrival must surely raise questionmarks for the two non-Scottish elder statesmen Marshall (32) and Horgan (30), but whether this season will be too early for Nicholson remains to be seen. This signing also suggests Stuniverse doesn't see any young wingers in the reserves or U18s who are capable of making the leap up to the first-team squad any time soon.

 

Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, kidthekid said:

Nicholson will prove to be a good signing. Good pace, can cross; that is key in your 4-4-2.

Thanks, @kidthekid, I wanted to wait until I’d posted the squad review for wingers before replying to this.

You know I was excited when I saw the scout report for Kevin Nicholson - exactly what I was looking for: Young (19), Scottish, with the current ability to come in and compete for a starting place straight away, with the potential to be one of the best players at the club. I was even more excited once Celtic accepted our offer and Nicholson wanted to join us [we’ve found a few players like that - goalkeeper Jay Hogarth being a case in point - who we can’t sign because either the club wants too much money or the youngster doesn’t want to join us].

Interestingly, I was talking to someone by message yesterday, and I told him I don’t really look at the players attributes. I used to, but then after a while it felt like I was playing a computer game and picking players by numbers, so I now try and play it more representative of real life. I go with my scouts and coach reports initially and then I go off match ratings and what I see in a player during extended highlights, I always watch on extended highlights as I get a better feel for how the players are doing that way. I enjoy it more that way as the players seem more real, not numbers. What annoys me though is when a scout says a player has 4.5 star potential and then when I sign him my coaches say he’s only 3.5 stars.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

29 June 2023

HIBS SQUAD REVIEW - STRIKERS

HibsView: Last but not least in our squad review, let's take a look at the Hibs strikers.

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9. Lawrence Shankland was the Premiership's top goalscorer last season with 25 goals. In all competitions, including four sub appearances for Scotland, the 27 year-old striker made 54 (4) appearances last season, scoring 42 goals, with eight assists, and an average rating of 7.42. Currently in his prime, Shankland is expected to be the main striker for Hibernian again this season and Hibees fans will be hoping he can reproduce his stunning form from last season.

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11. Fraser Hornby proved a more than capable partner for Shankland last season, making 41 (9) appearances, scoring 23 goals, with 10 assists, and an average rating of 7.37, including seven appearances, two goals and two assists for Scotland. The 23 year-old has become a regular starter for Scotland and there's speculation of interest from other clubs, including Celtic. The question for manager Stuniverse may be whether or not he can keep hold of Hornby this transfer window?

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16. Adam Idah is a new signing for Hibs this summer but he's no stranger to Hibs manager Stuniverse after playing for him at Falkirk during the 2021/22 season when Idah was the Premiership's top goalscorer with 27 goals. Last season, the 22 year-old Englishman was joint 3rd in the Premiership goalscoring charts with 15 goals, an impressive achievement playing for rock-bottom and relegated Falkirk. Overall, Idah made 43 appearances for Falkirk last season, scoring 19 goals, three assists, and an average rating of 7.01. Stuniverse was keen to work with the Irish international again and signed Idah this summer for an initial £2.5M.

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28. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy played for Hibernian on loan from Aston Villa last season, making 21 (22) appearances, scoring 12 goals, with four assists, for an average rating of 6.93. Although very much a back-up to Shankland and Hornby, the 24 year-old striker contributed significantly to Hibernian's season and established himself as the first-change striker. Hibs manager Stuniverse clearly saw enough in Hepburn-Murphy to bring him back to Easter Road for another loan stint. 

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29. Jahmal Hector-Ingram played for Hibs manager Stuniverse during his three seasons at Falkirk and the 24 year-old Englishman was instrumental in Falkirk's climb from League One to 6th in the Premiership in consecutive seasons. Stuniverse brought Hector-Ingram with him to Hibs on a free transfer last summer, but the striker was unable to force his way into the team, making only one start and 10 substitute appearances, scoring one goal with an average rating of 6.80. With a number of younger Scottish strikers emerging from the Hibernian youth system, Englishman Hector-Ingram may find himself squeezed out in favour of the younger, Scottish blood.

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Hibernian have a number of young strikers who could make the step up to the first-team squad in the near future including 36. Scott Robertson54. Joe McGlynn59. Robbie Shaw and 60. Alejandro Navarro. Of the quartet, the most experienced are McGlyynn who spent last season on loan at Championship Ayr United, making 39 (1) appearances, scoring 13 goals, one assist, for an average rating of 6.83 and Robertson who was on loan to League One Alloa Athletic, making 29 appearances, scoring 13 goals, one assist, with an average rating of 6.89.

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TRANSFER WINDOW THOUGHTS

Hibernian are incredibly strong in the striker department, boasting the Premiership's top goalscorer for the last two seasons in Shankland and Adah, ably assisted by Hornby and Hepburn-Murphy. Behind them, are half a dozen young strikers with exciting potential. It is highly unlikely that Stuniverse will sign any more strikers this transfer window.

 

Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

30 June 2023

HIBS PRE-SEASON FIXTURES

HibsView: Hibernian have announced seven pre-season friendly matches. By finishing in the Premiership's top four, Hibernian have a bye in the Betfred Cup, along with Celtic, Rangers and Hamilton,  and will be exempt from the Betfred Cup Group Stage.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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1 July 2023

MONTHLY REPORTS

Manager Performance:

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Finances:

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Dynamics:

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Posted (edited)

3 June 2023

HIBS SIGN MAIR

HibsView: Hibernian have signed 22 year-old goalkeeper Archie Mair from Norwich City for £250K on a contract until the summer of 2026. Whilst at Norwich, Mair has had a couple of loan spells with Arbroath and Oldham Athletic.

Having started out at Aberdeen, Mair is returning home to Scotland after failing to break into the first-team set-up at Carrow Road.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Sorry to be late replying, @Stuniverse. Having looked over your squad, I don't really like them that much for a 4-1-2-3, it must be said. Sam Field is basically your only player I'd feel comfortable dropping into that anchoring role, though he would do it well. You have some decent options to put in CM in front of him, so that wouldn't be a worry. Curtis Jones I think would do really well cutting in from the left to chip in with the attack, but I don't see a left back who's going to do a very good job overlapping him. Middleton I think would do decently cutting in off the right--he's got some dodgy mental stats but this is the Scottish Prem so nobody's going to be perfect--but again there's the issue of who's going to overlap him and take advantage of that space, and I don't really see anyone. If you didn't want to play Liverpool-style, but wanted one cutting in and one running down the wing, say, the issue would be then I think that you don't have a really good right winger yet--since Jones is the one who makes sense to me as your inside forward/inverted winger. Nicholson I think is going to be really good for you next season, but he has a little growing to do before he's indubitably the main man there.

And none of your strikers look to me like they'd do great playing by themselves up top. Shankland I think needs close support, since he's not fast and not a great dribbler. Incidentally, his Plays with Back to Goal and Comes Deep to Get Ball don't seem to work with the kind of player he is all that well. Hornby is physically a good target man, but he's not got either the touch or passing capability you'd want from a target man in a 4-1-2-3. Idah might be your best bet if you were playing a counterattacking style, since he's quick and can finish.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Your other option for a little more defensive solidity when you need it might be a 4-4-2 in which you drop the CMs back to DM, and then really go in for direct counterattacking football.

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Posted (edited)
29 minutes ago, Tajerio said:

Sorry to be late replying, @Stuniverse. Having looked over your squad, I don't really like them that much for a 4-1-2-3, it must be said. Sam Field is basically your only player I'd feel comfortable dropping into that anchoring role, though he would do it well. You have some decent options to put in CM in front of him, so that wouldn't be a worry. Curtis Jones I think would do really well cutting in from the left to chip in with the attack, but I don't see a left back who's going to do a very good job overlapping him. Middleton I think would do decently cutting in off the right--he's got some dodgy mental stats but this is the Scottish Prem so nobody's going to be perfect--but again there's the issue of who's going to overlap him and take advantage of that space, and I don't really see anyone. If you didn't want to play Liverpool-style, but wanted one cutting in and one running down the wing, say, the issue would be then I think that you don't have a really good right winger yet--since Jones is the one who makes sense to me as your inside forward/inverted winger. Nicholson I think is going to be really good for you next season, but he has a little growing to do before he's indubitably the main man there.

And none of your strikers look to me like they'd do great playing by themselves up top. Shankland I think needs close support, since he's not fast and not a great dribbler. Incidentally, his Plays with Back to Goal and Comes Deep to Get Ball don't seem to work with the kind of player he is all that well. Hornby is physically a good target man, but he's not got either the touch or passing capability you'd want from a target man in a 4-1-2-3. Idah might be your best bet if you were playing a counterattacking style, since he's quick and can finish.

Anyway, those are my thoughts. Your other option for a little more defensive solidity when you need it might be a 4-4-2 in which you drop the CMs back to DM, and then really go in for direct counterattacking football.

Many thanks, @Tajerio and no need to apologise. I really appreciate your comments, and taking the time to assess my squad in the way you have.

To be honest, I’m not sure how we’re going to play system wise next season yet, nor who my main players will be, although there are a few who are on the team sheet already. There may yet be some more ins and outs but it’s not going to be easy to get out the players I want to offload or in the type and quality of players I’m looking for.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Monday 3rd July 2023

Pre-match v Edinburgh University (a) - Friendly (1)

Match Preview

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HibsView: What are your plans for pre-season?

Stuniverse: Well, our reward for finishing 3rd last seasons means we miss the Betfred Cup Group Stage which, is nice, but it's also kind of a shame. I liked having the Betfred Cup Group games in pre-season as it provided a competitive edge that you don't get with friendly games. So, instead, we've had to make do with seven friendly games.

We've arranged the first two against local universities, starting with Edinburgh Uni today. This will allow us to take a closer look at all of our up-and-coming young players and assess which ones will go back to the reserves, which ones might benefit from a loan move, and which young players we want to keep around the first-team squad for the rest of pre-season.

Then we'll look to give the first-team squad playing time to build fitness and we'll use the last game or two to prepare for our opening Premiership game at home to Hearts.

Unavailable:
Robbie Deas (international duty)
Adam Idah (international duty)

Team Selection

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Post-match: Edinburgh University (0) 0-3 (1) Hibernian XI

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HibsView: A nice win from a very young, inexperienced team.

Stuniverse: Yes, they are young and inexperienced, but they also have lots of ability and bags of potential. We saw that at times tonight in a game we bossed completely.

Joe McGlynn gave us the lead just before the break, finishing well after Robbie Shaw had put him through with a delightful, chipped pass. Unfortunately, Robbie Shaw had a thigh issue at half-time and we brought Ronan Darcy on for him. Ronan showed his ability on 51 minutes, curling a shot from outside the penalty area into the bottom corner to double our lead. Brandon Hunter made it 3-0 on 88 minutes after Marc Easdale set him up.

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HibsView: You've already done some transfer business early. Can we expect much more from Hibs this transfer window?

Stuniverse: I'm not sure. We're working on a few things, both ins and outs, but we're quite tight on our wage budget so I don't think we'll see any more ins unless we can get some players out the door. Having said that, I'm very happy with my squad and if we have to go with what we have now then I'm happy with that as I have every confidence in these players.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Wednesday 5th July 2023 

Pre-match v Heriot-Watt University (a) - Friendly (2)

Match Preview

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Unavailable:
Robbie Deas (international duty)
Adam Idah (international duty)

Doubtful:
Robbie Shaw (groin-45)

Team Selection

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Post-match: Heriot-Watt University (0) 0-3 (0) Hibernian XI

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HibsView: Another good win for a young Hibs side, but the players looked pretty tired by the end.

Stuniverse: Yes, it was a good win. We deliberately arranged the two Uni games in quick succession so we could see the youngsters play fresh, and again when they were tired. Our season was unrelenting last season and I'm sure it'll be the same again this season. We wanted to see how they'd handle it.

We thought we’d taken a first-half lead, from Jahmal Hector-Ingram’s cross, but Brandon Hunter had a 38th minute header ruled out for offside. A minute after the restart, Brandon Hunter did give us the lead when he headed in Jahmal Hector-Ingram's corner. On 47 minutes we were 2-0 up. Kevin Nicholson won the ball, dribbled into the penalty area, and was tripped; Jahmal Hector-Ingram hit the post with the penalty, but Steven Bradley was there first to score from the rebound. Steven Bradley made it 3-0 on 86 minutes, with his second goal of the game, when he smashed the ball home in a crowded penalty area.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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7 July 2023

JOHNSON LEAVES FOR ABERDEEN

HibsView: Aberdeen have confirmed the signing of Hibernian's 25 year-old English centre-back Connor Johnson for a fee of £1M.

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Posted (edited)

7 July 2023

DOOHAN RETURNS TO DUNDEE

HibsView: Dundee have completed the permanent signing of Hibernian's 25 year-old goalkeeper Ross Doohan for a fee of £50K. Doohan made 33 appearances for Dundee last season and obviously did enough for Dundee's manager Peter Grant to want to make the deal permanent. 

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20230707_finances.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 8th July 2023

Pre-match v Kelty Hearts (a) - Friendly (3)

Match Preview

FR3_Kelty_preview.thumb.png.a6fde52406bd8c747165c46f5272ca2d.png

HibsView: Will we be seeing your senior players today?

Stuniverse: Yes, starting today, the pre-season games are all about the fitness of the first-team and getting the players as much playing time as we can. We'll probably change the entire team at half-time today to give 22 players 45 minutes.

Having 30-odd players in training wasn't practical so, whilst a few of the youngsters are still training with the first-team, most of them have gone back to the reserves squad, with some of them available for loan.

Unavailable:
Adam Idah (ankle ligaments)

Team Selection

FR3_Kelty_selection.thumb.png.09bede92d05abcf18c6b70079832d5a1.png

HibsView: We won't be seeing Idah today, I understand.

Stuniverse: No. Adam pulled his ankle ligaments in training and might be out for a couple of weeks.

Post-match: Kelty Hearts (0) 0-8 (4) Hibernian

FR3_Kelty_report.thumb.png.623ca36f69fd122bf542ca7cbba7ef3c.png

HibsView: A different team in each half, four goals in each half, you have to be pleased with that.

Stuniverse: Yes, of course. In our planning, this first friendly for the senior squad was all about fitness and it was always going to be two sets of 45 minutes, so to play so well in both halves, at this early stage of pre-season, is very satisfying.

We took the lead after four minutes. Stevie Mallan hit a free-kick to the far post, Adam Jackson headed it back across goal, and Fraser Hornby swept the ball over the line from close range. Lawrence Shankland made it 2-0 on 12 minutes, getting on the end of a Lewis Morgan cross. Two minutes later, another Lewis Morgan cross was headed in at the near post by Fraser Hornby. On 23 minutes, we went 4-0 up when Lewis Morgan rifled in a cracking shot from outside the D, after good work by Sam Field.

We made 11 changes during the break and, on 59 minutes, Ronan Darcy emerged with the ball from a scramble,  involving a crowd of players in the penalty area, to drill the ball past the goalkeeper for 5-0. On 85 minutes, Liam Gordon climbed highest at the far post to head home Kyle Magennis's free-kick for 6-0. Two minutes later, it was 7-0 as Ronan Darcy headed in Mitch Clark's cross. Ronan Darcy headed in his second goal of the game on 90 minutes from James Husband's cross.

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HibsView: Have you heard the breaking news from Celtic park?

Stuniverse: No, I've been engrossed in a football game.

HibsView: Lennon has left Celtic to manage Napoli.

Stuniverse: Really. I didn't see that coming. Can he speak Italian? And, before you ask, I'm very happy at Easter Road, thank you very much.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

9 July 2023

LENNON SAYS CIAO TO CELTIC

HibsView: In surprising news tonight, Celtic manager Neil Lennon has left Celtic to manage Napoli in Serie A.

We spoke to Hibs manager Stuniverse after today's 8-0 victory over Kelty Hearts and his response after we broke the news to him was, "And, before you ask, I'm very happy at Easter Road, thank you very much".

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FR3_Kelty_report.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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9 July 2023

STUNIVERSE FACING UNCERTAIN FUTURE

HibsView: Our sources at Hibernian FC inform us that Hibs manager Stuniverse approached club owner Ronald Gordon abut a new contract but got short thrift in response. Apparently, with the current managerial vacancy at Celtic, Stuniverse wanted to commit his future to Hibernian but the conversation  between manager and owner was a short one. Speculation about Stunivere's future was rife during his time at Falkirk, with Stuniverse frequently linked with moves to other clubs.

Stuniverse's current contract is due to run out at the end of the season.

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10 July 2023

CONFUSION SURROUDS STUNIVERSE AND CELTIC JOB

HibsView: There are times when we find it very difficult to get to the truth of a story and this is one of those cases as Sky Sports are reporting that Hibs manager Stuniverse has told them his interview for the Celtic job went very well, whereas our sources at Hibernian FC inform us there has been no approach from Celtic for their manager and that Stuniverse actually approached the owner about a new contract as he wanted to commit his future to Hibs. On the day Lennon took the Napoli job, Stuniverse told us after Hibs won 8-0 at Kelty Hearts, "And, before you ask, I'm very happy at Easter Road, thank you very much."

The bookmakers, however, have priced Stuniverse as 3-1 favourite for the Celtic job. The early front runner with the bookies was current Fenerbache manager Ersun Yanal.

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Bookmaker odds 10/07/2023:

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Bookmaker odds 09/07/2023:

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Posted (edited)

11 July 2023

HIBS HOPE STUNIVERSE WILL STAY

HibsView: According to Sky Sports, a prominent member of the Hibernian Board has indicated he is hopeful Hibs manager Stuniverse will stay at Easter Road amid speculation he is set to move to Celtic Park.

That's all well and good but, surely, the club's chances of keeping Stuniverse as manager would've increased significantly had they agreed to extend Stuniverse's contract?

20230711_Board_Stuniverse1.thumb.png.a968ccba433d95e6626b13ef8819d7e3.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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13 July 2023

CELTIC FANS CONSIDER STUNIVERSE LEADING CANDIDATE

HibsView: The story linking Hibs manager Stuniverse with a move to Celtic is refusing to go away. Today FOURFOURTWO have published the results of their poll with Celtic fans that has Stuniverse amongst their leading candidates to fill the managerial vacancy at Celtic.

20230713_CelticFans_Stuniverse1.thumb.png.e9bd1de5fc08825b5e48bc651c041690.png

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Posted (edited)

Thursday 13th July 2023

Pre-match v  Oxford United (H) - Friendly (4)

Match Preview

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HibsView: There's a lot of speculation linking you with the vacant Celtic job. What can you tell us about it?

Stuniverse: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I've heard nothing from Celtic at all. Sky Sports asked me what it was like to have my name linked with the Celtic job and, stupidly, I said it was flattering to have my name linked in the same sentence as Celtic which, it is, Celtic are a massive club. But, despite what Sky Sports later reported, there's been no contact with Celtic, I haven't had an interview, and I definitely didn't tell Sky Sports the interview went well, because there's been no interview.

HibsView: So if Celtic agree to honour your compensation clause, and invite you for an interview, will you be attending?

Stuniverse: That's hypothetical so I can't answer a hypothetical. There's been no contact. No interview.

Unavailable:
Mitch Clark (knee)

Doubtful:
Adam Idah (ankle-75)
Paul Hanlon (knee-90)
Ryan Porteous (groin-90)

Team Selection

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Post-match: Hibernian (1) 3-0 (0) Oxford United

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HibsView: A good win.

Stuniverse: Yes, thanks. We played very well from first whistle to last and were good value for the win.

We took the lead after 18 minutes when Curtis Jones scored at the second attempt after their goalkeeper had first parried his header from Glenn Middleton's cross. Curtis Jones scored his second goal of the game with a shot from outside the penalty area, after being put through by Kevin Nicholson on 79 minutes. Rushian Hepburn-Murphy made it 3-0 from the penalty spot on 93 minutes.

HibsView: Ralston limped off late on. How is he?

Stuniverse: Anthony felt his thigh tighten so it was a precaution more than anything. He should be ok in a few days.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

20 July 2023

STUNIVERSE INVITED TO CELTIC INTERVIEW

HibsView: Sources close to Celtic Park have reportedly revealed that Celtic have invited Hibernian manager Stuniverse for an interview to discuss the vacant manager's job at Celtic Park.

Our sources at Easter Road insist Stuniverse wants to stay at Hibernian but is frustrated that on the one hand, the Board are publicly saying they hope he stays whilst, on the other hand, the Board are unwilling to enter into negotiations to extend Stuniverse's contract which expires at the end of the season.

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No option to ask Board for New Contract as Personal option is no longer there...

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... after previous request 11 days ago.

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Hibernian Board hoping Stuniverse will stay:

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Club Vision and Manager Performance:

20230720_club_vision.thumb.png.a4f4d2eb8801de2bf3ed92467f36b7f4.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

What to do?

20230709_Lennon1.thumb.png.7f6b3a9b4bc12440fb90c58040d07038.png

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Well, I didn't expect this development on the save so early into pre-season.

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I really am torn because I'm enjoying managing Hibernian and think the transfer window is going reasonably well, but I do have a concern around the Board's expectations on the Club Vision.

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I have to be honest and say that if the Board had offered me a new contract when I requested one on 9th July 2023 (the day after Neil Lennon walked out on Celtic) then I wouldn't be torn at all, I wouldn't have even considered the Celtic job because I would have felt wanted and loved at Hibernian, and would have been excited about the new season and the opportunity to overtake Rangers and get closer to Celtic.

But this is the possibility of managing Celtic! And their massive Budget and Resources. And the Celtic job isn't going to become available very often on this save...

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Last season Hibs finished 3rd (improving from 5th under Jack Ross the previous season), seven points behind Rangers, 15 points ahead of Hamilton in 4th, yet my 'job performance thus far doesn't deserve an early [contract] extension' and the Board want to see more out of me... so by the end of the season, if not before, I could be out of a job at Easter Road in any case.

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I haven't decided whether to Attend or Decline the Celtic interview. I need to sleep on it...

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If any of you have any thoughts or comments or advice, I'd really appreciate hearing from you.

Best wishes,

zzzz_Stuniverse_Hibs_press_conference.png.712e2e7a1292ea60c128a91dab8f7897.png

Stuniverse

 

Tagged: @Axyongaming007 @bigmattb28 @dap1987 @Garmt02 @HarrisFFC @JaytheGreat @Johnny-Trotter @kidthekid @King Cactus @kingjericho @ManUtd1 @metallimuse @Mrlee.1986 @Pavi @ryanpol123 @samboing @SRL88 @Tajerio

Edited by Stuniverse

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Dang...that's a big decision to make.

I think that if your long-term vision for the save (as it sits right now) is to manage Celtic, then go for it.  You've earned it.  If you'd rather work to chase them down, like a lion leaping on a wounded gazelle, then stay with Hibs.

My gut tells me that your indecision is more based on short-term frustration with Hibs that will pass, than a long-term goal to manage Celtic.  If so, it might be hard to un-ring the bell if you taking the Celtic job now...it will be there later.  

Just my 2 cents.  Sorry it isn't more definitive!

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I think it depends on your long term goal. With Celtic, you are likely to win everything every year and I don't know if that is enough to keep you invested in the save.

At the same time, you try to play the save as realistic as possible (which is something I commend you for), but that would mean taking the Celtic job.

Whichever way you go, I'll continue reading with interest.

 

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I don't like taking over the big dog in a league in which I'm already managing, which in my mind would militate against Celtic. I also dislike the club IRL and so wouldn't manage them in-game.

But I think, as has been said, that it really depends on your aims. If you go to Celtic it can't really be about just winning the league. You've got to have some other aim (European glory, totally homegrown squad, etc.) or else I fear it might get stale. Of course a season or two smashing everybody is often really good fun. On the other hand, if you're looking to knock Celtic off their perch you obviously can't go manage them.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the comments so far @ManUtd1, @kidthekid, @Tajerio. You all make some really valid points.

Aims / Vision for the save

I’m not sure if I’ve actually communicated this at any point on the save, other than to say fairly early on that it wouldn’t, necessarily be a one-club save at Falkirk.

My main aim was simply to have a good, long career save and if this one main save runs the full length of FM20 (before FM21 takes over) then I’d be very happy. I really am enjoying this save.

I’ll be honest with you, this is probably the longest save I’ve done in a good while because, usually, I manage in England and I like my saves to have realism (FM is so immersive, isn’t it?) that when the newgens / regens start becoming common place, and the team squads start to have no resemblance to how they are in real-life, I begin to lose interest. Managing in Scotland has really helped in that respect because I don’t know Scottish football that well (it was a surprise to me when the SPL top four were exempt from the Betfred Cup Group Stage) and I would struggle to name more than two or three players who play for any of the SPL clubs, so managing outside of England has been good for me because I’m four seasons in, about to start the fifth season, and in my mind I’m not having any of those but this squad has hardly anybody left that plays for them in real-life moments.

I didn’t see the save as being exclusively Falkirk, and in my own mind I wanted to return the Bairns to the SPL and keep them there. I did that! So, after two back-to-back promotions and a 6th place finish in the SPL, I didn’t feel bad leaving when I did because I left them in a much better place than I found them. I did feel bad about leaving the Bairns the way I did though, but with all the takeover shenanigans and the lack of investment the new owner was bringing to the club, I could see the writing on the wall. Sadly, I was proved right with the way Falkirk crashed from 6th to 12th and relegation.

Joining Hibernian felt right. My initial aim, taking over Jack Ross’s side who finished 5th, was to make Hibs the best of the rest behind Celtic and Rangers. I smashed that last season, my first at Hibs, finishing 3rd a comfortable 15 or thereabouts points ahead of the 4th placed team. I was very surprised that, other than our terrible form over the last eight games, we were in a strong position to challenge Rangers for 2nd place. This was most unexpected given that Celtic and Rangers had both finished 30+ points ahead of 3rd place the previous season.

Unlike at Falkirk, I feel like there’s more to do at Hibernian... and even though last season Rangers had 3 x the transfer budget Hibs did, and Celtic had around 12 x the transfer budget, I was looking forward to the challenge of hunting down first Rangers and then Celtic as Hibernian manager.

But, and it’s a BIG BUT, that’s a longer-term goal and I would welcome a longer contract than just this season. That’s why, given all the speculation over my future at Falkirk over a couple of summers, I wanted to commit my future to Hibs once Neil Lennon quit Celtic for Napoli, but the Board weren’t interested.

In my mind, the season Hibs had was fantastic and the difference in points between the 70 we gained last season, and the 59 under Jack Ross the previous season, is massive. I can understand the Board’s disappointment with our form over the last eight games, I was disappointed myself that we’d edged ourselves into 2nd place, just before our bad form kicked in, so I do get that... but to say that Hibs are “well short of challenging for silverware as expected” I feel is somewhat harsh. We beat Rangers three times out of four in the SPL, we beat Celtic once in the league and once in the Cup; reached the quarter-finals of the Euro Cup II, going out to Genk, but knocking out St Etienne along the way; the fifth round (last 16) of the Scottish Cup, losing on penalties to Rangers (1-1 a.e.t.) at Ibrox; and the quarter-final of the Betfred Cup, losing 2-0 away at Aberdeen (a game, I admit, we should’ve done better in).

So yes (and I would very much welcome your views on this) I think the Hibs Board are being harsh, bordering on unfair, when they say: “Disappointed that the club looks well short of challenging for silverware as expected” after just one season in charge.

I would love to stay at Hibernian for much longer. I have a strong affinity with the squad, I waited patiently to be reunited with Adam Idah, and I invested a lot of time and effort into those Squad Reviews to identify where I needed to improve the squad on limited resources (compared to Celtic and Rangers) and in a challenging transfer market given the club vision to sign players aged 23 or less (primarily), plus a need to increase the number of HGC players in the squad and bring Academy players through.

But, and it’s another BIG BUT, if I turn down Celtic (of course, even if I attend the interview, I may not get offered the job), and go on to have a similar, or better season with Hibs, but do not have my contract extended by the Hibs Board at the end of the season, I’m going to look back and regret not going to Celtic (assuming they offer me the job, of course).

Finally, in the same way I didn’t see this save as being a one-club save at Falkirk, I don’t see it as being a one-country save in Scotland either. Moving to Celtic, hopefully being successful at Celtic, would increase my reputation in the footballing world and improve my chances of getting the manager’s job at a bigger club somewhere else.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Wow!! Big decision to be made here, I completely understand both sides of the coin on this one 1) you’d have stayed if they offered you a contract and 2) will the opportunity come round again! I firmly believe you will get offered this or bigger after a successful season with Hibs this year, and a new manager in charge of Celtic may be a good opportunity to get closer to them, as we are all well aware that you are close to overtaking Rangers bar the odd blip in results! Like I’ve said to you before I think the board are a little harsh on you with considering what you have achieved over the season before you took over! It’s a tough one but I think there’s still a bit of life left in the Hibs save especially as you now arguably have the best attack in the league, there’s a sense of achievement building a squad to push you on whereas at Celtic you should be crushing most sides each week anyway with an already good squad of players! Good luck in your decision making

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From my experience in this year's game, a bad board can really hamper a club's development. If you are unhappy with the board I say take the Celtic job.

If however you feel backed up 100% then in a couple of seasons you will surely be a title contender.

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Managing Hibs needs devotion - some days it's great, and some days it feels like you are forever battling to overtake the Old Firm, and they tend to have the standing and resources to shoot you down more often that not. In line with the sentiment from @kidthekid, it feels like Celtic is a natural next step. Hibs a great option - but only if you feel you want to commit long term (10+ years, in my opinion) and the board will frustrate you along the way.

 

If you consider eventually going beyond Scotland, then going to Celtic, winning a few titles and cups and progressing there makes sense. Good luck the decision - it's an interesting journey either way, full of developments!

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the comments @samboing, @kingjericho and @Johnny-Trotter. A few things I’ll pick up on...

8 hours ago, samboing said:

1) you’d have stayed if they offered you a contract and 2) will the opportunity come round again! I firmly believe you will get offered this or bigger after a successful season with Hibs this year, and a new manager in charge of Celtic may be a good opportunity to get closer to them, as we are all well aware that you are close to overtaking Rangers bar the odd blip in results! Like I’ve said to you before I think the board are a little harsh on you with considering what you have achieved over the season before you took over!

Those are well balanced comments and I think you’ve summed it up very well. For me, the Hibs Board are expecting too much too soon. Last season was a significant improvement for Hibs, but the Board don’t seem that impressed. There’s still time for them to offer me a new contract and I hope they do (I have seen it before, when there’s interest from other clubs, that the Board offer you a new contract to try and get you to stay). I’ve tried again to make a Board Request and the Personal > New Contract option isn’t there.

7 hours ago, kingjericho said:

From my experience in this year's game, a bad board can really hamper a club's development. If you are unhappy with the board I say take the Celtic job.

If however you feel backed up 100% then in a couple of seasons you will surely be a title contender.

That’s part of the issue for me. I’m not sure the Hibs Board are backing me 100%, to be honest, but there’s still time for them to show they want me to stay by offering me a new contract.

4 hours ago, Johnny-Trotter said:

Hibs a great option - but only if you feel you want to commit long term (10+ years, in my opinion) and the board will frustrate you along the way.

If you consider eventually going beyond Scotland, then going to Celtic, winning a few titles and cups and progressing there makes sense. Good luck the decision - it's an interesting journey either way, full of developments!

I have quite a number of Nations / Leagues loaded on this save and I definitely see this career save taking me beyond Scotland at some point. As long as my reputation keeps improving, then I’ll be looking to progress my career at appropriate times. I won’t rule out staying at a club for a long time if it’s a good fit, I’m enjoying working there, and I can see myself taking the club forward and improving.

Nations_Leagues_loaded.thumb.png.56fa150ec6a3401d375e7fbcea80ef43.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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20 July 2023

STUNIVERSE ATTENDS CELTIC INTERVIEW

HibsView: Hibs manager Stuniverse missed training today and our sources at the club inform us he was in Glasgow having an interview at Celtic Park for the vacant Celtic manager's job.

20230720_Celtic_interview0.thumb.png.9d1a03e229c81af54333781a3fb00155.png

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Posted (edited)

21 July 2023/24

SEASON PREVIEW 2023/24 PREMIERSHIP

HibsView: Hibernian  (5-1) are clear favourites with the bookmakers to be the best of the rest behind the usual suspects Celtic (Evens) and Rangers (3-1) in the Premiership this season.

20230721_bookmaker_odds.thumb.png.0b89a7ea3a2f343c2201c8cbab6b5f86.png

In the Championship, Falkirk are 6-4 favourites to win the Championship and return to the Premiership at the first atempt.

20230721_bookmaker_odds2.thumb.png.523dec47e9a2f81aeabb2d876bc2e3ba.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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21 July 2023

MARSHALL JOINS MIDDLESBROUGH

HibsView: Middlesbrough have confirmed the signing of Hibernian's 32 year-old right-winger Ben Marshall on a free transfer.

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 22nd July 2023

Pre-match v Huddersfield Town (a) - Friendly (5)

Match Preview

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HibsView: Have you been interviewed for the Celtic job?

Stuniverse: I can confirm that Celtic have been in contact but beyond that I'm not going to comment. I can say I've spoken with my boss, Ronald Gordon [owner], and he knows the circumstances under which I'm willing to stay at Easter Road. It's up to Mr Gordon and the Board now. As far as Celtic is concerned, there's been no job offer and, until there is, if there is, it's pure speculation and there's no decision to make.

Unavailable:
Archie Mair (ankle)

Doubtful:
Adam Idah (ankle-45)
Lewis Morgan (shin-75)
Kieran O'Hara (groin-90)
Paul Hanlon (knee-90)
Ryan Porteous (groin-90)
Mitch Clark (knee-90)
Anthony Ralston (knee-90)

Team Selection

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Post-match: Huddersfield Town (1) 1-0 (0) Hibernian

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HibsView: A narrow defeat, but a defeat nevertheless. Has the speculation about you going to Celtic got to the players?

Stuniverse: No. I don't think so. We're all contracted to Hibernian Football Club and that's what we're focussed on. We picked Huddersfield as an opponent because we knew they'd give us a good, hard game. And they did. We knew, at their place, they'd dominate possession against us. And they did. We wanted to see how our players coped with that and, for the most part, we coped very well. Despite their possession, we defended well, and Ofir Marciano, as expected, was kept busy. But we created our own chances too and their goalkeeper made two spectacular saves to deny Daryl Horgan and Stevie Mallan goals. In the end, a mistake, that got punished, proved the difference. On 28 minutes, Daryl Horgan gave the ball away in the middle of our half, and one pass later Huddersfield thundered the ball into the top corner from long-range.

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HibsView: Jackson went off injured, late-on. How is he?

Stuniverse: It was just a knock, Adam should be fine in a couple of days.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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23 July 2023

HIBS SQUAD NUMBERS CONFIRMED

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Posted (edited)

23 July 2023

PREMIERSHIP TOP GOALSCORER ODDS

HibsView: Hibernian's 27 year-old striker Lawrence Shankland is the 2-1 favourite to be the Premiership's top goalscorer this season. Hibs new signing, 22 year-old  striker Adam Idah is 5th favourite at 15-1. If the bookmakers have got it right, Hibees fans should be celebrating a lot of goals this season.

 20230723_SPL_top_goalscorer.thumb.png.6fa798da1b651f1ae67ba35d158baa40.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

23 July 2023

CELTIC SET TO CONFIRM STUNIVERSE AS MANAGER

HibsView: Our source at the club informs us there was a lot of activity at the Hibernian Training Centre after the players finished training today, with Hibs manager Stuniverse and his assistant manager Jari Litmanen having lots of one-to-one meetings with almost the entire backroom staff.  Hibs owner Ronald Gordon was on the phone almost the whole day.

Our source informed us Stuniverse was finalising the details of the backroom staff he wants to take with him to Celtic Park, with Celtic set to confirm his appointment within the next 48 hours.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

24 July 2023

PREMIERSHIP TOP PLAYER ODDS

HibsView: The bookies favourites for the Premiership's Top Player are dominated by Celtic and Rangers players with no Hibernian player in the top six odds.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

24 July 2023

CELTIC APPOINT STUNIVERSE

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The Bhoys: Celtic chairman Ian Bankier has announced the appointment of former Hibernian and Falkirk manager Stuniverse as the new manager of Celtic on a two-year contact until the end of May 2025.

Got to be honest, here at The Bhoys we are underwhelmed. Falkirk and Hibs... Really? Is that the best we could do?

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Edited by Stuniverse

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24 July 2023

CELTIC SEASONS EXPECTATIONS

The Bhoys: If new Celtic manager Stuniverse is expecting an initial honeymoon period at Celtic Park he can get that thought right out of his head right now and he better wake up and smell the Glasgow coffee from day one. He may not realise it yet, but his previous jobs at Falkirk and Hibernian were kindergarten class compared to managing Celtic Football Club. Stuniverse will have discussed the season's expectations  and club vision during his interview with chairman Ian Bankier, but he probably doesn't realise yet that the requirement here is to win every single match. Nothing else will do.

You can rest assured, Bhoys fans, that just as we did with Neil Lennon, Brendan Rodgers, Martin  O'Neill and others before them, we won't let Stuniverse get away with anything. 

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Nice! This was the right move. Now please, don't experiment too much because you are expected to deliver immediately. And with a good stay here you can jump to any club in the Premier League.

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I'm a little late here, but I'm glad you took the Celtic job. If Hibernian didn't want to commit to you long term then you owe them no loyalty. Celtic will bring you new challenges that will be interesting to see how you try to solve them. Plus having Celtic on your resume will look very good when you decide to leave for another country.  

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Posted (edited)

24 July 2023

SUNIVERSE ARRANGES TWO MORE FRIENDLIES

The Bhoys: New Celtic manager Stuniverse arrived at the Lennoxtown Training Centre, took one look at the pre-season schedule, and requested two more friendlies be arranged. So, thanks to Stuniverse, we get to watch Bundesliga FC Koln at Celtic Park and West Region Premiership  Clydebank away.

Much as we're grateful to Stuniverse for giving us the opportunity to watch our beloved Celtic in another two matches, someone needs to point out to him that he has more pressing matters to attend to, like our distinct shortage of defenders.

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Here's an overview of the two friendlies Celtic played before Stuniverse's arrival.

Leicester City 0-3 Celtic

Celtic played a 4-5-1 and won 3-0 at the King Power Stadium through goals by Kaan Ayhan (who has since joined Crystal Palace for £14.25M), Will Rutherford and Scott McTominay. 

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Stoke City 2-1 Celtic

Celtic played a narrow 4-3-3 and lost 2-1 to Stoke City at the bet365 Stadium. Danylo Sikan scored Celtic's goal.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Posted (edited)

24 July 2023

CELTIC FIXTURES 2023/24

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Edited by Stuniverse

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24 July 2023

CELTIC GOALKEEPERS

The Bhoys: Turkish international Uguran Cakir is the Celtic #1 and there's not much to choose between Mark Gillespie and Scott Bain as his back-ups.

1. Mark Gillespie (English)

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13. Ugurcan Cakir (Turkish)

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29. Scott Bain (Scottish)

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Posted (edited)

24 July 2023

CELTIC DEFENDERS

The Bhoys: Here at The Bhoys, we're massive Cetic fans and even we think it's disgraceful that new manager Stuniverse turned up at the Lennoxtown Training Centre to find just five first-team defenders in the squad, one of whom, Tin Jedvaj has a broken leg and can't play for 3-5 months. So, by default, Chancel MbembaDane MurrayScott McKellar and Greg Taylor are the starting back-four as they're the only defenders available.

Stuniverse immediately called up Craig KingJack GowCalum McCann and Nic Madden from the reserves but I'll tell Stuniverse this for nothing, none of them are good enough to play for Celtic.

3. Greg Taylor (Scottish)

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5. Chancel Mbemba (DR Congolese)

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16. Tin Jedvaj (Croatian)

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30. Scott McKellar (Scottish)

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36. Dane Murray (Scottish)

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62. Craig King (Scottish)

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64. Jack Gow (Scottish)

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65. Calum McCann (Scottish)

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66. Nic Madden (Scottish)

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Edited by Stuniverse

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