Warren O'Hora admits Hibs 'wow' factor as defender left pinching himself

Warren O'Hora admits he had to pinch himself when he found out Hibs wanted to sign him.

The Irish centre-back joined the Hibees this summer as a free agent after leaving MK Dons, one of two centre half signings for new boss David Gray along with former Blackpool man Marvin Ekpiteta. The 25-year-old has played in the League of Ireland and Leagues One and Two in England and now goes to one of the biggest clubs in Scotland who will be aiming to get into Europe.

So when the call came to inform him there was interest, he couldn't quite believe it. O'Hora and his partner Hannah are expecting a baby in October so it was a big call to make but he insists it was a no-brainer in the end and the pair of them couldn't wait to get up to the capital once it was decided.

He said: "When that phone call came, I was really thinking: ‘Wow, I can’t believe this is happening.’ A historic club of Hibernian’s magnitude coming in and wanting you to play for the first team at a packed Easter Road. That's the pinch-me moment. The difference I felt when I got that call to say that there was interest there and I could come up and have a look around...

“It’s a long way from Brighton, where Hannah is from, so it was a big, big move but she was very happy with the news as well. It was a no-brainer in the end, and we just went full steam ahead with it.”

First and foremost in his mind will be to aim for success with the Easter Road side. But over and above that, he would love to force his way into the Republic of Ireland setup.

“I’d like to think I’m still at a good age," he added. "I’m 25 and it’s a dream for anybody to play for their national team. You have to have that type of goal to keep you going. You need to have something to chase and if you make it there, you pick something else to chase and you keep going.

“I need to focus on my club football first to get to that milestone and this is definitely a club that can improve me as a player. If I do my stuff on the pitch and we do our stuff as a club then maybe that call will come and it would absolutely be a proud moment for me and my family, no doubt about it.

“It’s definitely in the back of my head - it has to be. I wouldn’t be pushing myself if it wasn’t. You have to see it as a challenge to get into the squad or get the call and it can definitely happen.

“There are boys who have played in Scotland who are in the squad now so it’s not impossible. It needs to happen for you, but you need to get a lot to get it, and I understand that. But I’m still at a good age; who knows if it will come? Maybe it won’t but I’ll still chase it until someone says you can’t.”