Stephens eyes a Euro double

PUBLISHED: 12:48 09 July 2010 | UPDATED: 17:24 10 September 2010

Former City central defender David Stephens has set his sights on a European double after heading north to join Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.

Former City central defender David Stephens has set his sights on a European double after heading north to join Scottish Premier League side Hibernian.

The 18-year-old Stephens admitted the lack of first team opportunities prompted him to look elsewhere, but is now looking forward to Europa League football and a possible European Championship qualifying campaign slot with John Toshack's Wales side.

Stephens has been earmarked as one for the future by Hibs boss John Hughes, who signed him on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee, but admits the future is exciting.

Hibs' first match in the Europa League is at the end of the month, and Stephens is hoping to impress enough to earn a start.

“I am really pleased to have agreed a move to Hibernian,” he said. “It is an ambitious club with top-class training facilities and a first-class stadium.

“I'm still learning my trade at the moment, but Hibernian has a track record of promoting young players into the first team and this was a great attraction for me. I'm confident that when I do get an opportunity I will seize my chance. I'm excited to be here and especially so given that the opening Europa League match is only a few weeks away.

“It is a big move for me and I've been really impressed with the club and with Edinburgh, it seems like a great place to live and I just want to achieve all my goals at Hibernian.”

The plan is to graduate to the Wales senior side.

“I definitely think playing in the SPL can enhance my chances of playing for Wales at Under-21 and senior level,” he said. “The manager of the under-21s, Brian Flynn, told me that to get in his squad and the seniors you need to be playing regular first team football. Hopefully if I do well here it will boost my chances. I'm going to give it my all to be part of the first team squad at Hibs, rather than the under-19s. The gaffer said I've got the potential to be a first-team player every week and that's what I'm going to try and do.”

Stephens, who made one senior appearance for City, came through the club's youth ranks and had a short loan spell with Chris Sutton's Lincoln.

“I had one-year left on my Norwich contract and I wasn't going to play there,” he said. “I got a call from Hibs, came to look at the facilities and then my heart was set on it. I've got pace, I'm an athlete. I like to get it down and play.”

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