Tom James hails Paul Heckingbottom’s attention to detail as Welsh defender signs up for Hibs


TOM JAMES insists Paul Heckingbottom’s attention to detail convinced him that Hibernian was the ideal club for him.

The Easter Road outfit fought off competition from a host of suitors south of the border, with the defender arriving from Yeovil Town on a three-year contract.

James, 23, is the Hibees’ fifth signing of a busy summer following the captures of Scott Allan, Adam Jackson, Joe Newell and Christian Doidge.

And the former Wales under-19 internationalist is adamant Hibs boss Heckingbottom was the deciding factor as he weighed up his future.

“The gaffer’s presentation was very detailed which, straight away, showed how keen he was on me,” revealed James.

“As a footballer, that’s what you want. You want the manager to be on your side from the start and I feel like he definitely is. I want to repay him for that.

“It was definitely the gaffer who swung it for me. He showed how much he wanted me with the detail he went into and the way he spoke about how he wants to improve me and the club in general. That was the biggest pull.”

It is understood Hibs initially paid a modest undisclosed fee for the player, who suffered relegation from League Two with Yeovil last term, but that could be bolstered by several performance-related clauses.

James made 96 appearances during two-and-a-half years with the Glovers, scoring eight goals. Prior to joining Yeovil, he came through the youth ranks at Cardiff but made just one senior outing for the Bluebirds.

“I think the gaffer wants me to be a full-back who gets forward, creates chances for others and a few for myself,” continued James.

“First and foremost, my job is defending but I do like to get up and down the flank for the full game. I did play all the way across the back four last season and occasionally in the centre of midfield.”

And, while James will primarily compete with David Gray for the right-back berth, Heckingbottom believes that versatility will be pivotal in the coming campaign.

“He’s a highly-rated young player who can operate in a number of positions, which is obviously advantageous when we want to run with a smaller group,” added Heckingbottom.

“I know Tom well and we have seen him play many times. I’m delighted he has bought into what we want to achieve here because he had a lot of other offers.

“Tom has good quality, is composed on the ball and has a great attitude to improve. We look forward to working with him.”

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