FOR PERHAPS THE first time since he made the switch from League of Ireland to Scottish football, Paddy McCourt is a wanted man.
The former Derry City midfielder, who managed just 66 games in five injury-hit seasons at Glasgow Celtic, has impressed Hibernian manager Pat Fenlon after training with the club over the pre-season period.
The 29-year-old Northern Ireland international left Celtic this summer after his contract with the league champions expired. Fenlon, who knows McCourt from his time playing at Derry and Shamrock Rovers, was only too happy to get him in and training at Easter Road.
McCourt, however, is pursuing other playing options in England and is training this week and next with Championship side Barnsley.
Fenlon told The Scotsman, ”He didn’t train today with us, but I’d love to sign Paddy. He’s a fantastic player and he has other options. He’s one we’re talking to, but there are one or two others if that doesn’t happen that we’re looking at as well.”
McCourt was 24 when he left The Brandywell, in 2008. He opted for a playing role with Celtic despite reported interest from West Brom. He made his competitive debut against Hibs in October of that year.
He made his international debut later that season and has been capped 13 times for Northern Ireland. Fenlon believes that McCourt, who can play in centre midfield and on the wing, would strengthen his team’s attacking options as they try to mount a challenge to Celtic’s league dominance.