May 23 2012 By Gordon Parks
Sean Welsh Image 4
PARTICK THISTLE boss Jackie McNamara has stepped up his efforts to seal a permanent deal for Sean Welsh from Hibs.
The Jags chief has been highly impressed by the form of the 22-year-old midfielder who has spent the past four months on loan at Firhill.
Talks between the clubs are now at an advanced stage as McNamara’s plans for next season start to take shape.
The Maryhill boss is planning an assault on the First Division title next season and added to his squad last week with the signings of Aaron Muirhead from Annan, who has signed a two-year deal, and former Motherwell striker Steven Lawless.
Thistle are confident of confirming the signing of Welsh later this week and Firhill general manager Ian Maxwell feels securing his signature could the final piece of the Jags jigsaw.
He said: “Hopefully we will be able to bring Sean back for next season.
“We have been in talks with Hibs and we are getting closer to agreeing a permanent move.
“He’s had a terrific start here at Firhill and our supporters have really taken a shine to him so he would be a great signing for us.
“We’ve managed to bring in a few new faces in recent weeks and we are trying to get our business done as soon as possible.
“In fact, Sean is the only outstanding addition we are trying to make as we put things in place for next season.”
The Jags have also arranged a pre-season friendly with Mark Roberts’ Ayr United at Somerset Park on Tuesday, July 17, with a 7.45pm kick-off
The new Ayr boss can’t wait to take on Thistle. He said: “It’s disappointing we’ll be playing in the Second Division next season after being relegated.
“However, I’m looking forward to the challenge of trying to get us back up at the first time of asking. We’ve got a good bunch of players here and the friendly against Thistle will be a stern test.
“Jackie’s task is similar to mine in that he is also a young manager trying to prove himself on a tight budget.
“I’m looking forward to locking horns with him when we face each other.”