BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
CHARALAMPOS MAVRIAS insists rave reviews from Easter Road favourite Florian Kamberi helped to sell him on a switch to Hibs.
The Greece international has joined the capital club on a short-term deal until January 2019, with an option to extend the contract if the move proves fruitful.
The 24-year-old right-back was a free agent after leaving Croatian side NK Rijeka during the summer and has been on trial with Neil Lennon’s side for several weeks.
And Mavrias will have a familiar face in the Easter Road dressing room after playing alongside Kamberi at German side Karlsruher during the 2016/17 campaign.
“I spoke with Flo [Kamberi] before I came to Hibs and he told me very good things about the club,” said Mavrias.
“Flo is a really good player and a great character. I’ve realised that he is right. Everything I have seen at so far has been amazing.
“From the first day that I came here I saw that it is a very good club. The organisation is amazing and the environment for football is top quality.
“Everything is here to be successful. The training ground, the players, the staff – I will work really hard on the training ground and try to take my chance.”
As well as playing alongside Kamberi at Karlsruher, Mavrias was on the books of Sunderland between 2013 and 2016 and represented the Black Cats in the English Premier League. However, his time in Wearside ultimately petered out and he was farmed out on loan back to Panathinaikos and Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Nevertheless Mavrias, who has been capped five times for his country, is adamant he is a stronger player due to his experiences abroad.
“I’ve spent time in Germany and England, two countries with a strong football culture, so it was a really positive experience to be part of teams there,” Mavrias told Hibs TV. “All of those experiences have made me stronger, on the pitch and in terms of my character. It was not all good, it was not all bad!
“I knew Scottish football was a really strong league and when I was at Sunderland I was able to see some games from Scotland, so I know that this will be a tough challenge. But I think my experiences will help me at Hibs and my career.”
Remarkably Mavrias, who scored in both legs when Panathinaikos defeated Motherwell in Champions League qualification in 2012, is the 13th full international assembled by Hibs and their 10th new signing of the season.