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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 11:39 GMT 12:39 UK
Hibernian swoop to sign O'Brien
Alan O'Brien
O'Brien has won five caps for the Republic of Ireland
Hibernian have signed Newcastle winger Alan O'Brien on a three-year contract after he agreed personal terms on Monday.

The Republic of Ireland international will join the Scottish Premier League club on 1 July after his contract at St James' Park expires.

Hibs and Newcastle have yet to agree a compensation fee for the 22-year-old.

Hibs manager John Collins said: "He is an exciting young player and one that I am sure our fans will appreciate."

O'Brien made nine first-team appearances in six seasons on Tyneside and also spent a month on loan at Carlisle.

The Dubliner made his international debut against Holland in August 2006 and has won a total of five caps.

"He has had the best possible grounding at Newcastle United and, while his first-team experience has so far been limited, his quality is without question," Collins told Hibs' website.

We are delighted to have signed Alan on a three-year contract at Hibernian

Hibs manager John Collins

"I think that is underlined by his appearances for the Republic of Ireland.

"A few other clubs were naturally drawn to him as his current contract at Newcastle was coming to an end.

"But Alan has chosen Hibernian to progress his career knowing that this club continues to provide the best possible platform for a young player to learn and enjoy the game.

"Alan is a wide player and very, very quick. He knows already the way we like to play the game and we expect that he will see a great deal of the ball."

O'Brien will join the Easter Road squad in time to travel with them to Austria on Sunday for their week-long pre-season training camp.

He is already looking forward to renewing his working relationship with former Newcastle coach Tommy Craig, who is assistant manager at Easter Road.

"Any player who has worked under Tommy will tell you that their football education has benefited greatly from his influence and guidance," said O'Brien.

I believe that with Hibernian I can progress both at club and international level

Alan O'Brien

"He is an excellent coach and I'm certainly looking forward to working with him again, but there is also the opportunity to work with John Collins.

"As a player, John has pretty much seen and done it all and, as a manager, he has already made a great impact at Hibernian.

"Everybody in the game is I think aware of what has been happening at Hibernian over the last few years.

"The quality of young player coming through the ranks into first-team football is exceptional.

"I have enjoyed my time at Newcastle United immensely, but I believe that, with Hibernian, I can progress both at club and international level."

O'Brien is Hibernian's third summer signing, joining former Newcastle team-mate Brian Kerr, who signed from Motherwell, and striker Clayton Donaldson, who joins the Edinburgh side this week from York City.



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