HIBERNIAN midfielder Kyle Magennis is adamant he will not allow one website statement to undermine a 17-year relationship with St Mirren, while revealing that Buddies boss Jim Goodwin has personally wished him well at Easter Road.
The former Buddies skipper completed a protracted switch to the capital on deadline day, with the Hibees shelling out a six-figure fee to prise him from Paisley having seen an initial bid rejected last week.
Magennis penned a bumper five-year contract with his new club, forcing St Mirren – already joint-bottom of the Premiership – to face with life without one of their most important players.
And the Saints released an update on their website on Monday which claimed that Magennis had asked to leave and, in an unusual move, released details of their contract negotiations with the player.
The statement read: “The club had been working for over a year on a new deal for Kyle and offered him a new four-year deal on improved terms, however, it became increasingly clear that Kyle saw his future away from St Mirren.
“After the initial approaches from Hibernian were rejected, Kyle made it clear to the club his desire to move.”
However, Magennis – responding to that sentiment – has emphasised that he would not have agitated for a move if St Mirren had rejected Hibs’ final attempt to secure his signature.
It was an unseemly end to the association between the parties, given Magennis made 107 appearances for the Buddies and wore the armband with pride, but he insists the rapport he enjoys with his ex-teammates and coaching staff remains intact.
“I was there since I was five years old and have a good relationship with all the boys and staff,” said Magennis. “A few words on the website isn’t going to change my opinion of a club which has a place in my heart.
“I had a conversation with the manager [Jim Goodwin] and [CEO] Tony Fitzpatrick and said it was a good opportunity for me and I’d like to go – but I wasn’t going to fall out with anybody over it.
“I’m not that type of boy, especially because I had been there for so long. I would never have said ‘I’m not playing for you’.
“Then on Friday morning, I got a call saying they had agreed a fee and I was to go for a medical.”
Magennis added: “Jim [Goodwin] text me on Monday wishing me all the best and saying he hopes I do well.”
Magennis, who will go straight into Jack Ross’ squad for Wednesday evening’s Betfred Cup opener against Brora Rangers, is following a well-worn path from St Mirren to Hibs.
Stephen and Paul McGinn are both on the books at Easter Road alongside Stevie Mallan, with the trio among the first calls he made when the interest from Edinburgh was made clear.
He has also played alongside Ryan Porteous at Scotland under-21 level and, of course, was given his St Mirren debut by Jack Ross in October 2016 – ironically, away to Hibs.
That new kid at school feeling is not quite so acute for Magennis.
“Knowing so many familiar faces were here played a massive part in my decision,” Magennis continued. “There’s Stephen and Paul [McGinn], Stevie Mallan; I have played with Ryan Porteous for Scotland.
“I texted Stephen McGinn and he said it was a brilliant place to play. I spoke to Paul previously and he said he was buzzing too.
“I just feel it’s a good place for me to go. The training facilities are brilliant, the stadium is brilliant, I know the gaffer [Ross] well and it just seemed like the right move to make.”
The youngest McGinn brother, and biggest success story of the now regularly-traversed St Mirren-Hibs highway, John, did not receive a call from Magennis.
The Scotland and Aston Villa star is, however, the benchmark he will seek to replicate.
“John’s the only one I never spoke to actually,” laughed Magennis. “But hopefully I can do as well as he did here and go on to be as successful as he has.
“He has progressed from here and I think that’s what all young players should look to do – it’s about going somewhere, doing the best they can and try to get as far in their career as possible.
“Coming from St Mirren as well, you could say we are similar. And if I can do half as well here as he did then I’m buzzing.”