Spartans and Hibs Under 19s have arranged a friendly challenge match tonight at Ainslie Park, kick-off 7.30pm, with both clubs keen to give their players competitive action during the Christmas and New Year break.
Spartans currently lead the Central Taxis Premier Division by eight points after their narrow 2-1 victory against Civil Service Strollers on Saturday. “It isn’t easy to win leagues and it also is not easy to retain league titles,” stressed the Spartans co-manager, Mike Lawson. “Whitehill Welfare won at the weekend to keep up the pressure and the students of Stirling University remain unbeaten and must fancy their chances.
“We wanted a game this week to keep us ticking over and the Hibs U-19 coach, James McDonaugh, is a player who I had at Whitehill Welfare when I was manager there in the 1990s. We will play some players who have not been starting games recently including John Grant, Dean Hoskins, Jonathan Seeley, Jordan Finnie and Calum Donnelly. We also have a few players who are not available for one reason or another. We are all looking forward to playing Hibs U19s and building some bridges for the future.”
McDonaugh, the Head of Academy Coaching at Easter Road, is bringing his U-19 side to Ainslie Park with some of the players already having featured in first team squads. Striker Ross Caldwell has been a substitute as have Danny Handling and Jordon Forster.
“We wanted to give our boys a game before the Christmas break and I know that Spartans are a good football team and we will be playing on a nice pitch,” said McDonaugh. “It will be a good test for our players.”
Also in the Hibs squad will be Sam Stanton, Dean Horribine and Euan Smith.