Cove Rangers manager Jim McIntyre hailed the loan capture of highly-rated Hibernian defender Kyle McClelland.
The Northern Ireland under-21 internationalist made the move from Rangers to the Edinburgh club this summer having built up experience for the Light Blues’ under-18 and B teams, and featured in the UEFA Youth League.
The 20-year-old made his debut for Hibs in a 5-0 Premier Sports Cup win over Clyde in July, as well as making appearances in their ties against Falkirk and Bonnyrigg Rose.
McClelland, whose Premiership bow for the Hibees came in their 2-1 loss at Livingston last month, was on loan at League 1 side Falkirk at the end of last term, where he played against Cove in a 2-2 draw.
✍️ Cove Rangers FC are delighted to announce the loan signing of Kyle McClelland from @HibernianFC!
Welcome to Cove Rangers, @kylemcclellandx! 🔵
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) September 12, 2022
He also played for Rangers B when Cove beat them 5-1 in the SPFL Trust Trophy in November 2021.
Player can build on his experience
McIntyre reckons McClelland, who has signed with the Championship club for this season, is ideal fit in terms of what he was looking to add to his squad.
He said: “Kyle’s young, he’s hungry; he’s exactly the type of player I have been looking to get on board.
Delighted to be here!! can’t wait to get going! https://t.co/PEAhZ1zr5p
— kyle Mcclelland (@kylemcclellandx) September 12, 2022
“He could have stayed at Rangers, but he took the decision to leave because he wanted to play more football.
“He’s had a taste of it with Hibs, and now he sees Cove as a chance to build on that.”
McClelland will learn from senior players
McIntyre is sure he’ll learn quickly from the senior players already doing the business at Cove.
He added: “He’s quick, a very good passer, he’s happy to get in tight against opposing attackers, he’s good on the ball and in the air.
“As much as anything, Kyle gives us really good options and increases competition for places, which every manager wants.
“Like the other young players I have signed, he will have the chance to learn from the excellent professionals we have here, experienced guys like Mitch Megginson, Fraser Fyvie, Iain Vigurs and especially, given the position he plays, Mark Reynolds.
“It’s a move that should be of great benefit to Kyle, and to the club, and I look forward to working with him.”
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[Cove Rangers secure loan capture of top young Hibs – and ex-Rangers]