Hibbs is the chosen one

Jake Hibbs
Jake Hibbs
16
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Jake Hibbs says he’s got a lot to thank chief scout Gareth McLelland for after winning a pro contract with the club.

The 17-year-old was one of nearly 130 players who registered for the competition, which took place at Stockport Sports Village last month, before they were whittled down to 16 for a game against Stockport Sports and 12 for a match against Town’s first team.

Hibbs scored against Stockport before impressing against the senior squad and being unanimously chosen by the Town coaching staff.

The young midfielder joined Manchester City’s academy aged 12 and had a year at Mossley before joining Hyde last season.

He says McLelland has been a key figure in his development after being released by the Premier League giants.

He said: My spell at Hyde was probably my worst year so far - I didn’t really progress much.

“But Gareth was my PE teacher at school and phoned to tell me about the trial.

“He’s been very influential on me - he brought me to Mossley when I was 15 and he’s really helped me confidence-wise.

“When I got dropped by City I wasn’t that interested in football but helped me with my confidence after that.”

Hibbs has been given a one-year contract at the Shay and Neil Aspin has hinted he may be sent out on loan to gain some first-team experience.

The youngster admits being selected came as a bit of a shock but is now focusing on his development.

He said: “I was quite surprised to be chosen. I didn’t think I did too badly but it was a good standard.

“Halifax is a good place to be but I’m just concentrating on this season and improving my game.

“I need to work on my fitness and get as much experience under my belt as I can.”