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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 13:57 GMT 14:57 UK
Hibs complete Joneleit loan deal
Germany Under-21 defender Torben Joneleit
Torben Joneleit is a Germany Under-21 international
Hibernian have signed Germany Under-21 international Torben Joneleit on a year-long loan from Monaco.

The 20-year-old central defender has yet to break into the first-team at Hibs manager John Collins' former club. Collins hopes that Joneleit will strengthen an area of the team seen as their Achilles heel last term.

The manager told Hibs' website: "He's a strong defender who is comfortable with both feet and I'm convinced he will be an asset to the football club."

Collins hopes that Joneleit will strengthen an area of the team seen as their Achilles heel last term.

The manager told Hibs' website: "He's a strong defender who is comfortable with both feet and I'm convinced he will be an asset to the football club."

He's a strong defender who is comfortable with both feet and I'm convinced he will be an asset to the football club

Hibs manager John Collins

Joneleit recently signed a new three-year contract with Monaco and Collins said he was delighted the "exceptionally talented defender" was moving to Easter Road on loan.

"We are delighted that they have agreed to allow him to add to his experience by playing for Hibernian for the next year," said Collins.

And Joneleit believes a season at Hibernian can prepare him for a career at the highest level.

The 20-year-old is convinced Collins, who played for Monaco from 1996 to 1998, is the right man to nurture him for the next 12 months.

Joneleit said: "I was told that John was always looking to play good football with young players so this for me was a good opportunity."

"I would hope that over the next year I can improve a lot of things, especially my physical aspects," said Joneleit.

"But I think it will be a very tough challenge, it will be a brand new experience for me to live so far from home and on my own.

"I don't know if it will be very easy to settle in a new place but I am open-minded and flexible so it should not be a problem as I can integrate very easily so I'm sure it will be fine."

Monte Carlo-born Joneleit did some research into Collins' playing career and was encouraged by what he found.

"I had spoken to other people and they had told me that he was a very good young trainer with a good team," Joneleit told Hibs' official website.

I was told that John was always looking to play good football with young players so this for me was a good opportunity

Hibs' on-loan defender Torben Joneleit

"I was told that John was always looking to play good football with young players so this for me was a good opportunity.

"In Monaco I would not play very often in the first team but here at Hibernian I hope that I can play a lot more.

"I have to admit that I do not know that much about Scottish football.

"I know however that the four major teams here are Hibernian, Hearts, Rangers and Celtic and that there are 12 teams in the championship, but that is about it.

"I will learn quickly I'm sure, my priority is to do well for the club first and also if I could continue to play for Germany then that would be superb.

"But if that was not the case then it's not too bad, as long as I can play here and do well for Hibs then that would be very good."

Hibs are seeking a new goalkeeper and three candidates for that position are expected to join with pre-season training this week on trial.

Simon Brown, released by Collins at the end of the season, signed for Brentford on Monday.

At the same time, Hibs confirmed that winger Alan O'Brien had become their fourth summer signing after joining from Newcastle United.

Striker Clayton Donaldson has arrived from York City, Brian Kerr from Motherwell and fellow midfielder Elias Wagner from Admira Wacker.

SEE ALSO
Hibernian swoop to sign O'Brien
25 Jun 07 |  Hibernian
Brentford sign Hibs keeper Brown
25 Jun 07 |  Brentford
Evans heads in as Kozelsky waits
20 Jun 07 |  Hibernian
Sproule nears Bristol City switch
21 Jun 07 |  Hibernian
Donaldson relishes Hibs challenge
31 May 07 |  Hibernian


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