Pat FENLON has insisted he won’t overlook Easter Road’s home-grown talent as his plans to rebuild his Hibs squad begin to gather pace.
Tim Clancy, James McPake and Paul Cairney have all arrived in quick succession at the Capital club with Fenlon working hard behind the scenes to bring in further new faces.
But the Hibs boss is also conscious of having a clutch of youngsters such as Sam Stanton, Ross Caldwell, Scott Smith, Calum Antell and Danny Handling all champing at the bit for the chance of first-team football.
So far, fans have seen only fleeting glimpses of some of them, Hibs’ plight last season restricting Stanton and Caldwell to only a few minutes of action while Smith, having impressed in the League Cup win over Berwick Rangers, spent the remainder of the season out on loan, while goalkeeper Antell and striker Handling were also farmed out to gain some first-team experience.
Smith returned to sign a new contract while Antell is expected to do likewise over the course of the next few days and, along with the others, are determined to make their mark in the coming season.
And that, Fenlon disclosed, is where he’s also been particular in those he’s brought in and hopes to lure to Easter Road, saying: “It’s not just going out to sign players, we want to get the right ones, the ones that are good about the place, who have the right attitude and desire on and off the pitch, guys who can help the young lads.
“It’s important not just to get the young boys in but to learn what it takes to be a good professional and a good player.
“There’s a few of them who have in around the fringes, champing at the bit to play and it is important that they do not stagnate, that we give them that opportunity to stake for a place.
“It was difficult, though, to throw them in given the situation we were in. You have to look to protect them a bit, putting them in at the wrong time and it doesn’t go well can be detrimental to their progress.”