Jordon Forster has tipped this to be the season Easter Road kids Scott Martin and Callum Crane make the breakthrough to first-team football.
The youngsters caught the eye of new boss Neil Lennon as they shone in Sunday’s pre-season win against English Championship side Birmingham City, with left-back Crane earning himself the man-of-the-match accolade.
And Forster is convinced it won’t be long before Hibs fans begin to see much more of the youngsters, who are both under contract with the Capital club for another two years.
A Scotland Under-17 internationalist, midfielder Martin has already had a taste of first team actioin with Hibs, making his debut as a late substitute against Falkirk 19 months ago, the first of three such cameo appearances that season. He played four more times last season, scoring his first goal in the League Cup win over Montrose.
Thereafter he went on loan to Forfar for the remainder of the season, while 20-year-old Crane was farmed out to Berwick Rangers. They have returned – as have Sam Stanton and Alex Harris, who were on loan at Livingston and Queen of the South respectively – determined to push for a place in Lennon’s plans.
Now Forster, who himself is back at Easter Road with a new two-year contract secured having spent the second half of last season at Plymouth, is convinced the pair are ready to make an impact in Lennon’s side this season.
He said: “I think a lot of the boys have given the manager plenty to think about following Sunday’s game. I thought Craney was outstanding and Scott was excellent in the middle of the park.
“They deserve massive credit, they really took the opportunity. That’s no surprise, though. They have been training with the first team and have really done themselves justice in the last few weeks. That gives the manager something to think about.”