Adam Le Fondre: Lure of Europe helped sell me on Hibernian move

The striker can't wait to get started playing at Easter Road.

Adam Le Fondre: Lure of Europe helped sell me on Hibernian move SNS Group

Hibernian’s new signing Adam Le Fondre says the lure of playing in European competition was one of the factors that persuaded him to move to Leith from Sydney.

Le Fondre joined the Easter Road club last month on a free transfer after leaving Sydney FC, with Hibs boss Lee Johnson delighted to add “craft and experience” to his front line.

The veteran striker has been a consistent goalscorer throughout his career, and has played for a number of clubs in a career that’s taken him from England and Wales to Australia and India.

Though he has experienced a lot since making his professional debut in 2004, Le Fondre has never played in Europe and he admitted that being part of their Europa Conference League squad was part of the draw when Hibs made their move.

“For someone like me, at 36 years old, to play in Europe now is almost like another thing to tick off on the bucket list of my career,” he said.

“There’s a great buzz around the group about these games coming up.”

Hibs director of football Brian McDermott knows Le Fondre well from their time together at Reading and made the move happen but the player revealed he had been close to joining the club previously.

That didn’t work out but he said that when it came time to reach decision on his future this time around, he had no hesitation.

“I was linked with the club when Lenny (Neil Lennon) was charge and I nearly came up then but it didn’t work out,” Le Fondre explained. “When Brian messaged me this time, it was after one of the elimination finals in Sydney and I think I had scored the winner in that.

“He messaged and asked ‘Can I have a quick call with you?’ and I was a bit surprised because I hadn’t spoken to him in a while. I was like ‘Hold up, go on then’.

“He said I still seemed the same sort of player, still score goals and would I be interested, being a mentor and helping the younger players but also scoring goals.

“It sort of percolated with me and my wife. I was in the middle of negotiating with Sydney at the time and had four or five good seasons there and was ten goals off being the all-time club goalscorer so I was looking to extend.

“When it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen, because they were slashing the budget and the money wasn’t there, I thought this was an amazing challenge and opportunity to go and play in Europe and to try something different.”

The striker, who says he’s already enjoying getting to know the squad at pre-season training, says he can’t wait to get started in competitive games.

“I’m the sort of player who hasn’t been scared to try different things and different football and I’m really enthused about playing in the Scottish Premiership and seeing how it goes,” he added.

“It was an opportunity to play in Europe, and opportunity to work with good people and it’s a big club.

“I watched the last game of the season, and obviously it was a very tense game. I was watching very keenly to see the players.

“Once I knew my future at Sydney, this was relatively easy and straightforward.

“It was ‘lets go and sign the thing and let’s get it done’ “

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