Hibs pair up with Charleston Battery as player link-up revealed
Hibs have confirmed their transatlantic partnership with USL side Charleston Battery.
Operating in tier below the MLS, the South Carolina team and Hibs have announced a collaboration that is intended to benefit both clubs, focusing on the areas of player development and scouting.
But they will also work together towards operational efficiency and community engagement as the Easter Road side looks to broaden horizons at home and in the largely-untapped US market.
Establishing strategic links with at least one club in his homeland has been high on Hibs owner Ron Gordon’s list of priorities since taking control of the Premiership side last July.
The American-based businessman views such affiliations as a way to expand the areas the club can recruit from as he tries to overhaul Aberdeen and close the gap on Glasgow’s big two.
Two players already in
The formalisation of the deal with Charleston Battery was welcomed by Gordon, who said: “It brings together two clubs with shared values on and off the pitch, in a way that will help us both to achieve our aspirations.
“Looking at ways we can work together, be smarter, expand our networks and learn from each other is only going to be a good thing.”
The clubs have kicked off the partnership with two Battery players arriving in Edinburgh to train with Hibs throughout the USL offseason.
Defender Leland Archer and midfielder Robbie Crawford will begin training with the Leith outfit in mid November, following a period of quarantine, in a move the US club’s Chief operating Officer Mike Kelleher described as a “stepping stone for our players who have potential to perform at some of the highest levels of European soccer.”
They will be followed by administrative and coaching staff in the new year to look at the club’s facilities and firm up plans for 2021.
Ian Gordon’s role
“Full credit goes to our Technical Scout, Ian Gordon, who has worked very hard to deliver this partnership,” Hibernian FC Sporting Director Graeme Mathie said. “The link with Charleston Battery allows us to tap in to their network and resources as we look to expand our scouting activities into new markets, and we are already looking forward to welcoming two of their current squad to the Hibernian Training Centre in the coming weeks for an extended training period, with the potential for two of our young players to travel there early next year.
“These relationships stand or fall by the quality of the people involved and I have been really impressed in all the dealings I’ve had with everyone at Charleston Battery - to be the oldest professional club in the US shows a huge commitment to growth and development and I am excited to begin this relationship in earnest in the near future.”
Battery fully charged
Battery co-owner Brandon Lieb said that despite exploring other possibilities, they felt Hibs were the best fit.
“It’s an exciting day for the Charleston Battery. To be able to partner with such an historic club like Hibernian FC is truly special.
“We have been looking at opportunities across Europe, including the Scottish Premiership, and believe that Hibernian FC is an ideal partner. Our two clubs share many of the same values and beliefs. This is an opportunity for us to collaborate and evolve our clubs through an innovative, transatlantic partnership.”
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