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Page last updated at 08:36 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 09:36 UK

Hibernian sign Thicot and Keenan

Joe Keenan and Steven Thicot
Joe Keenan and Steven Thicot aim to bolster the Hibs squad

Hibernian have signed Frenchman Steven Thicot and Joe Keenan after the pair impressed on trial at Easter Road.

Keenan, 26, joins after a spell with Melbourne Victory, while Thicot, 21, - who can play in defence or midfield - was released by Nantes last month.

Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen told his club website: "Both players will, I'm sure, prove to be excellent additions to our squad.

"Joe has done well on trial and Steven shows fantastic maturity."

Thicot has been given a three-year contract, while Keenan has signed on for two years.

Paatelainen said he was confident both players would help refresh his Easter Road side.

"I am looking forward to having the players available because I think they will add to the squad," said the Hibs boss.

"Joe is a very fit player and although he is only 25 years of age has quite a lot of experience after playing a couple of games with the Chelsea first team, and in Holland, Belgium and Australia.

"He has seen different styles and different types of management.

"Hopefully he will bolster our midfield passing.

"At his last club he played on the left-hand side of defence as a wing-back.

"I don't think we will see him there too often - but who knows - that's a possibility as well.

I am looking forward to having the players available because I think they will add to the squad

Mixu Paatelainen

"He's a player who can fill in a couple of positions in the team."

Thicot played in Hibs' pre-season friendlies with Raith Rovers and Barcelona, with a 0-0 draw at Stark's Park followed-up by a 6-0 hammering from the Spanish giants at Murrayfield.

However, Paatelainen was satisfied with what he saw of the French defender in those games to add him to his squad.

Paatelainen added: "I can see he's had a good education when it comes to football.

"He's a very solid defender, whether he plays in defence or in midfield.

"He can play everywhere in defence and hopefully he will make us more solid."

Hibs have been quiet on the transfer front this summer, with right-back van Zanten their only new recruit.

But now they have also added Thicot, a graduate of the French national academy at Clairefontaine and a member of a European Under-17 Championship winning side.

Left wing-back Keenan, who started his career with Chelsea, last played for Australian side Melbourne.

The 25-year-old has also played for Westerlo and Brentford, while on loan from Stamford Bridge, and had a spell with Willem II in the Netherlands.

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Paatelainen was also quick to dismiss reports that he was set to resign from the manager's job at Easter Road.

"I don't listen to rumours, they have no backing whatsoever, they are absolutely ridiculous," he said.

"We will start the season well, hopefully. We are working towards that full-heartedly and our aim is, on 9 August, that we are ready to go."




see also
Yantorno aiming to shine at Hibs
28 Jul 08 |  Hibernian
Hibs reeling after Barca mauling
25 Jul 08 |  Hibernian
Hibs aiming to strengthen squad
04 Jul 08 |  Hibernian


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