Leo Hjelde's recommendation helped Leeds United 'entertainer' secure new stage to light up

Leeds United defender Leo Hjelde gave a 'fantastic recommendation' on behalf of Bobby Kamwa ahead of the striker's loan move to Dunfermline Athletic.

By Graham Smyth
Friday, 28th January 2022, 5:06 pm

Pars boss John Hughes took teenage defender Hjelde on loan from Celtic when he was in charge of Ross County last season, and turned to the Norwegian youngster for a view on Kamwa.

"There were many clubs after him so we just tried to get ahead of the game," said Hughes, who played Kamwa in a trial game against Falkirk and liked what he saw.

“The young player Leo Hjelde, who I had on loan from Celtic up at Ross County and is now down at Leeds, gave him a fantastic recommendation. The next step was to get him up in a practice match, he showed that character and desire to come up and play. Although we got beat 2-0 in that match against Falkirk he was the one who lit it up a little bit. His work ethic was very very good and I think that he will excite the fans.

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"A lot of work was put in place just to come up and trial, let us see what he has got - we didn’t want to sign him blind. The due diligence that we did was all positive and once we saw him, met him and tested him asking him the football questions he passed with flying colours.

“We played him in a few positions coming in off the left hand side and then we played him centre forward so he has got that in him. He can play in a number of positions coming and I have no doubt that he can play on the right hand side as well."

Kamwa, 21, will spend the rest of the season with the Scottish Championship outfit having fallen out of Marcelo Bielsa's plans at Thorp Arch. His contract is up in the summer and the Dunfermline move represents a chance to put himself in the shop window.

Hughes says the Thorp Arch education is obvious in Kamwa.

NEW STAGE - 'Entertainer' Bobby Kamwa has joined Dunfermline Athletic on loan from Leeds United until the end of the season. Pic: LUFC

“You can see that he is a confident lad," he said.

"Many a time he has been on the first team training pitch down at Leeds with Bielsa. He will know what it’s all about, how to look after the ball. I am just delighted that we got him.

“He is something different than what we have got. He has pace, power, got a trick and hopefully has got goals in him as well. I am absolutely delighted to get him and I keep saying to the chairman that I don’t know how he does it. He must have been 24/7 trying to get this one over the line and he has to take a lot of credit for doing that.

“I am just hoping that Bobby has great success up here. The fans will enjoy him, enjoying him getting at defenders, giving him the ball to let him do his stuff. He has the double step over and good pace and power. I am looking forward to working with him.

“He is another one who has something to prove. The fans will love him and we have him until the end of the season. It is your stage, every entertainer loves a stage, go and light it up. I am hoping that it really works out for him and he becomes a fans favourite.

“I said total football for the next four months, come and be the best that you can be and go and be that hero that we are talking about.”