{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"hibs","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/big-interview-hibs-boss-neil-lennon-has-potential-signings-lined-up-1-4743895","id":"1.4743895","articleHeadline": "Big interview: Hibs boss Neil Lennon has potential signings lined up","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527139810000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon has insisted he has plenty of potential signing targets waiting in the wings as he looks to rebuild his squad for next season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743894.1527097961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon helped to raise funds for the SPFL Trust during a golf day at The Carrick golf course, Cameron House, Loch Lomond. Lennon is enjoying the close season but spent four hours in a meeting last week discussing potential signing targets"} ,"articleBody": "

Although Hibs went into the summer break with just one player out of contract, midfielder Dylan McGeouch, four who had spent the season on loan in Edinburgh, Flo Kamberi, Jamie Maclaren, Scott Allan and Brandon Barker, all returned to their parent clubs.

While other teams, most notably city neighbours Hearts and Rangers under new boss Steven Gerrard, have already been conspicuously busy on the transfer front, Lennon insisted he’s totally relaxed about the situation, revealing his backroom staff have been working for months on identifying possible new arrivals.

The Hibs head coach had a four-hour meeting with his recruitment team, headed by Graeme Mathie, at the end of last week and, although talks are ongoing with Swiss hitman Kamberi, a January transfer window arrival alongside Aussie striker Maclaren and Celtic midfielder Allan, in a bid to bring him back to the Capital on a permanent basis, Lennon conceded that at the minute “a few things are up in the air”.

“It was interesting,” said Lennon of his sitdown with his scouts. “The meeting was quite lengthy and I should give more credit to my scouting department, who have done a very good job, as they did in January.

“They’ve been working away all season on getting things ready for the summer. Whether we lose a player or not – and we’ve lost players before – I don’t think it’s a major rebuilding job. If we can’t get some deals done with current players then we’ve got a few decent ones lined up.

“We’ve had good success after two years and it’s always difficult to rip it up and start again. I’m quite relaxed about it all. There’s going to be a bit of work and the frustrating thing is a few are up in the air but we have plenty of options and players to look at.

“It’s very early in the process and some of the guys are away for a wee break. But when they come back we’ll be hoping to get a couple over the line.”

Lennon revealed, however, that Simon Murray – off-loaded on loan to Dundee for the second half of the season despite the 14 goals he’d scored at that point meaning he ended up as Hibs’ top scorer – would return to fight for his place while youngsters Oli Shaw, Ryan Porteous and Fraser Murray will all be expected to play more prominent roles.

He said: “Simon will come back, no question. He wasn’t going to play a major part in the second half of the season and it was important for him to go out and get games.

“Rather than him maybe being on the periphery of the squad, for his own benefit it was good for him to go out and get games. He played 17 for Dundee.

“Oli will be one of the strikers and Ryan will come into the first-team squad at centre-half while Fraser has a little bit of work to do – but having them has saved us a bit of money.”

As in his first season at Easter Road, Lennon will kick off with Europa League football thanks to Celtic’s historic “double treble” meaning their fourth-place finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership was good enough for Hibs fans to begin reaching for their passports.

Although a veteran of many European trips in his time playing and managing Celtic, Lennon understands the excitement it has caused among the club’s support and, he insisted, Hibs deserve to be in the draw for the first qualifying round which will be made at UEFA’s headquarters in the Swiss town of Nyon on June 19 with the two legs to be played in the middle of July.

He said: “It’s brilliant to have European football. It was obviously out of our hands until we knew the result of the Scottish Cup final, but we’ve earned the right to have a crack at it.

“It’s an exciting aspect of the season ahead. It gets the fans’ juices going already despite the season having just finished.

“But it’s also an added dimension for the players. We got knocked out by Brondby a couple of years ago but it was very early days in my reign and I felt if it had been two or three weeks later we could have come through it.”

Lennon admitted to having been pleasantly surprised by what he’d seen, skipper David Gray’s goal in the Danish capital of Copenhagen which forced the match into a penalty shoot-out, convincing him he had “a decent team”, the nucleus of which went on to win the Championship title before confounding everyone by coming within a whisker of pipping Aberdeen and Rangers for second place.

He said: “To go to Brondby and win and unfortunately lose on penalty kicks was a respectable result. It’s difficult because you’re back so early and you could get a team who are midway through their season – and I’ve had that with Celtic – but we’re in it to try and qualify. It’s a financial boost for the club.”

Lennon, though, will have to watch from the stand as he still has to serve a touchline ban imposed by UEFA after he was sent off as Hibs lost the first leg of that tie against Brondby.

And he’s also likely to be absent from the dug-out for the opening domestic matches of next season following his “aeroplane” celebration as his side came from 5-3 down to draw with a last-minute goal against Rangers on the final day of the season.

He said: “I expected the SFA charge after the last game of the season because them’s the rules.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. It was a spontaneous moment, a bit of fun.

“The last kick of a very good season so nobody should look too much into it – I moved so quickly I pulled my hamstring! And I’ll just have to deal with the fact I’ll be serving a UEFA ban. My staff are well used to it by now.”

Lennon insisted he’ll be looking for “more of the same next season” but refrained from making a prediction as to where Hibs might finish having famously claimed they were the second best team in Scotland.

He said: “If I make a prediction now and we do it then I’m a genius. If not I’m an idiot.

“I felt we were good enough to finish second and we nearly were. I haven’t got my squad together so I might be clearer on targets at the start of the season.”

• Neil Lennon was speaking at the SPFL Trust’s Annual Golf Day at The Carrick. All proceeds raised will be used towards mental health first aid training in Scottish football in partnership with the Chris Mitchell Foundation. For more information visit www.spfltrust.org.uk.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743894.1527097961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743894.1527097961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon helped to raise funds for the SPFL Trust during a golf day at The Carrick golf course, Cameron House, Loch Lomond. Lennon is enjoying the close season but spent four hours in a meeting last week discussing potential signing targets","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon helped to raise funds for the SPFL Trust during a golf day at The Carrick golf course, Cameron House, Loch Lomond. Lennon is enjoying the close season but spent four hours in a meeting last week discussing potential signing targets","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743894.1527097961!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/five-games-which-defined-hibs-2017-18-season-1-4743975","id":"1.4743975","articleHeadline": "Five games which defined Hibs’ 2017/18 season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527098786000 ,"articleLead": "

Shortly after promotion back to the Ladbrokes Premiership, Hibs boss Neil Lennon told BT Sport that the club’s aim was to finish second.

It was a brave stance but it was Lennon in a nutshell – demanding but confident. Looking back on those comments, you can understand his confidence. Hibs have been a great addition to the top tier, playing some of the best football in the division.

Ultimately, they fell just short of achieving Lennon’s aims, but they provided much to get excited about along the way.

Here are five games which defined their season ...

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743970.1527098764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka celebrates his stunning goal against Rangers at Ibrox"} ,"articleBody": "

RANGERS 2, HIBS 3: LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP, AUGUST 12

Hibs had played in the top flight for the first time in 1183 days at home to Partick Thistle a week earlier, a colourful and atmospheric Easter Road seeing a 3-1 win over a side who had reached the top six the previous season.

Lennon’s “best of the rest” claims were a bullish prediction which raised a number of eyebrows and even brought ridicule in some parts. Then Hibs went to Ibrox in their second league fixture of the season.

It didn’t start well with Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos heading in the opener before former Hibee Kenny Miller had two chances to extend the home side’s lead.

But Hibs were a threat on the counter-attack with Simon Murray, the pacey forward equalising with an excellent individual goal.

Hibs were in the ascendancy when they were given a further boost with the sending-off of Ryan Jack. They took advantage of their man advantage with a fortunate own goal before half-time.

There was nothing fortunate about their third, though, Lithuanian midfielder Vykintas Slivka rifling in from long range, a goal which was later voted the club’s best of the campaign.

Rangers pulled a goal back but it was a deserved win for Neil Lennon’s men, who could easily have won by more, laying down an early marker, both in terms of performance and result.

CELTIC 2, HIBS 2: LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP, SEPTEMBER 30

Former Celtic boss Neil Lennon took the acclaim of the home support before the game. Afterwards he, along with his Hibs team, were taking the acclaim of the wider Scottish football public thanks to an impressive display in Glasgow.

Hibs went toe-to-toe with Brendan Rodgers’ men in a captivating encounter.

Ofir Marciano was superb in the Hibs goal, while Craig Gordon made one of the saves of the season to deny Steven Whittaker.

Celtic went ahead through Callum McGregor in the first half but rather than wilt, as many sides do at Parkhead, Hibs grew in stature and took the lead thanks to two sumptuous strikes by John McGinn, who was recognised as the best player on the pitch.

McGregor claimed his second of the game to ensure the home side gained a point, keeping their long unbeaten domestic record going.

What Hibs showed was that there was another way to play Celtic, that there are domestic rivals who can compete with Celtic in both a physical and football sense. It was also another strong display from the Easter Road men, who had not quite garnered the points at that point in the season that their performances deserved.

ABERDEEN 4, HIBS 1: LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP, DECEMBER 16

‘Cowdenbeath would have beaten Hibs’, claimed Lennon after defeat at Pittodrie although the Hibs boss walked back his view on his players after the heavy defeat, admitting he was too hard on them.

The Northern Irishman wears his heart on his sleeve and is not afraid to voice his opinion, especially in the immediate aftermath. He was prone to an outburst during the club’s Championship-winning season, keeping his players on their toes.

It is a road he has travelled down less frequently in the top tier but he gave the team both barrels after a disastrous performance.

The away side found themselves 3-0 down at half-time after hat-trick kero Gary Mackay-Steven gave the Hibs defence, namely Efe Ambrose, a chasing. Darren McGregor and Marvin Bartley were hooked at half-time but, if Lennon could, he’d have swapped all 11.

The second half was a damage limitation exercise.

It proved a key turning point in the season, Hibs losing only once in their next 17 fixtures.

HIBS 2, HEARTS 0: LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP, MARCH 9

When Hearts knocked Hibs out of the Scottish Cup in January, Hearts boss Craig Levein made a comment about restoring the “natural order” of the derby. It was a phrase which irked Neil Lennon and Hibs in general.

When the teams met again less than two months later, Hibs were two places and nine points ahead of their city rivals. With three points, Hibs could keep on the coat-tails of Aberdeen and within touching distance of Rangers in second, while putting Hearts’ slim hopes of European football to bed.

That’s exactly what happened.

The first half was largely even, and largely a non-event. But there was no question as to who were the stronger team after the break. Scott Allan rifled in the opener with Jamie Maclaren adding a second after he had earlier seen a shot tipped onto the bar by Hearts goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

Hibs’ control over proceedings was emphasised by the fact Hearts failed to record an effort on target.

As the game neared its conclusion, Hibs fans unfurled a banner aimed at Levein which simply asked: ‘Natural Order?’ Afterwards, Lennon branded Hearts ‘irrelevant’ having extended the gap to 12 points.

HIBS 5, KILMARNOCK 3: LADBROKES PREMIERSHIP, APRIL 28

After beating Celtic 2-1 in their first post-split match, Hibs went into the following game against Kilmarnock knowing another victory would, at least, ensure them of a fourth-place finish.

Like Neil Lennon’s side, Killie had been one of the top flight’s in-fORm teams, totally revitalised under Steve Clarke as they’d rocketed from the foot of the table to challenging for a place in Europe, arriving at Easter Road beaten just once in their previous 12 league games.

It was an encounter which lived up to expectations, an eight-goal thriller in which Scott Allan and Steven Whittaker twice had the Capital outfit ahead only to be pegged back by strikes from Kris Boyd and Stuart Findlay.

Hibs began to breathe a little easier as Jamie Maclaren and Florian Kamberi gave them a two-goal cushion but a stunning free-kick from veteran hitman Boyd prompted a nervy ending for the home support until Brandon Barker secured the three points in the final minute.

The win not only meant Killie couldn’t overtake Hibs but strengthened the Easter Road side’s hopes of overhauling Rangers and Aberdeen in the race for second place, a dream which, sadly, went unfulfilled.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743970.1527098764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743970.1527098764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Vykintas Slivka celebrates his stunning goal against Rangers at Ibrox","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Vykintas Slivka celebrates his stunning goal against Rangers at Ibrox","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743970.1527098764!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743971.1527098770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743971.1527098770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn bagged a double at Celtic Park","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn bagged a double at Celtic Park","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743971.1527098770!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743972.1527098773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743972.1527098773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "December's heavy defeat at Aberdeen proved a turning point in Hibs' season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "December's heavy defeat at Aberdeen proved a turning point in Hibs' season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743972.1527098773!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743973.1527098778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743973.1527098778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Hibs fans got their message across to Hearts boss Craig Levein","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Hibs fans got their message across to Hearts boss Craig Levein","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743973.1527098778!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743974.1527098783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743974.1527098783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jamie MacLaren grabbed a crucial goal in the 5-3 win over Kilmarnock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jamie MacLaren grabbed a crucial goal in the 5-3 win over Kilmarnock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743974.1527098783!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-neil-lennon-offers-update-on-dylan-mcgeouch-and-florian-kamberi-1-4743653","id":"1.4743653","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ Neil Lennon offers update on Dylan McGeouch and Florian Kamberi","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527074165000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon has revealed Hibs have been offered a “small chink of light” that Dylan McGeouch could yet extend his stay at Easter Road.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743650.1527074766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon gave an update on Dylan McGeouch, left, and Florian Kamberi. Pictures: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

The former Celtic midfielder’s contract runs out this summer and while the 25-year-old appeared to be saying his goodbyes after the 5-5 draw with Rangers on the final day of the season, Lennon insists that he hasn’t given up hope of holding onto McGeouch.

Speaking at an SPFL Trust’s Mental Health Awareness event on Wednesday, Lennon said that he had renewed hope of retaining McGeouch’s services.

“It’s an interesting one with Dylan because it’s not done yet. We are still in there fighting for that,” Lennon explained.

“The way he was after his last game we felt that may be it but there’s still some movement there.”

Revealing that Hibs have made the Scotland international “a very good offer”, Lennon added: “We’ve a small chink of light.”

No Halliday move, Kamberi talks ongoing

The 46-year-old also revealed that talks were ongoing with a number of loan players, adding: “We are in negotiations with a number of the players who are on loan. They are ongoing and we’re hoping to get a positive outcome from one or two of those.”

Lennon, whose side qualified for the Europa League qualifying stages as a result of Celtic’s Scottish Cup win over Motherwell, said that while European football would make the club a more attractive prospect for potential signings, he was unsure if the financial benefits would help the club retain Kamberi and Maclaren, who struck up a good partnership in attack for Hibs in the second half of the season.

“We’ve made a pitch for Kamberi, I can’t tell you too much about the Maclaren situation, but in terms of Flo we’re in active talks on a daily basis with his representatives,” Lennon confirmed.

“We’ve also identified some players who can add to the squad and bring a freshness.”

However, Andy Halliday will not be among any new recruits, with Lennon pouring cold water on talk linking him with a move for the Rangers midfielder.

Misconduct charge

Lennon will next month face a Scottish FA misconduct charge, following his “aeroplane” celebration on the Easter Road pitch after Maclaren’s late equaliser against the Ibrox side.

The Hibs boss acknowledged that a “little bit of over-exuberance” had seen him fall foul of the authorities once again.

“It’s just the laws of the game, we’ll go along on June 21 and see what the outcome brings,” he said.

“There was no malice or harm in it, it was the last kick of the game that finished of an amazing match and an amazing season for us, so it was a little bit of over-exuberance and a little bit of fun.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743650.1527074766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743650.1527074766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon gave an update on Dylan McGeouch, left, and Florian Kamberi. Pictures: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon gave an update on Dylan McGeouch, left, and Florian Kamberi. Pictures: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743650.1527074766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743651.1527074772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743651.1527074772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Neil Lennon at The SPFL Trust's Annual Golf Day. All proceeds raised will be used towards mental health first aid training in Scottish football in partnership with the Chris Mitchell Foundation.' Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Neil Lennon at The SPFL Trust's Annual Golf Day. All proceeds raised will be used towards mental health first aid training in Scottish football in partnership with the Chris Mitchell Foundation.' Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743651.1527074772!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5755615420001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-monitoring-midfielder-stevie-mallan-s-situation-at-barnsley-1-4743283","id":"1.4743283","articleHeadline": "Hibs monitoring midfielder Stevie Mallan’s situation at Barnsley","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527058004000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are keeping tabs on former St Mirren midfielder Stevie Mallan after his current club Barnsley were relegated to League One.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743282.1527058001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Barnsley midfielder Stevie Mallan"} ,"articleBody": "

Mallan signed for the Tykes a year for a reputed £200,000 fee, but had to wait until Boxing Day before making his debut and, in all, played just nine games last season as the Yorkshire outfit finished third bottom of the English Championship.

As a result, head coach Jose Morais and his backroom staff were sacked having been in charge for only 79 days after replacing Paul Heckingbottom, who quit to become manager of Leeds United in February.

Mallan made the move south after playing a major role in helping prevent the Buddies suffer back-to-back relegations, the former Scotland Under-21 player having played more than 100 games for the Paisley club and scoring 29 goals, many of them spectacular long-range efforts such as the free-kick he scored at Easter Road in October 2016 as Hibs were knocked out of the Challenge Cup.

Mallan himself admitted he was finding life difficult at Barnsley only a few months after making the switch, saying “I have gone from playing every week to not playing, it’s hard”, while vowing to fight for his place in the team.

However, game-time has been at a premium for the 22-year-old, who will be anxiously awaiting to discover who Morais’ successor will be.

Hibs will have to reinforce their midfield for next season, with out-of-contract Dylan McGeouch departing at the end of the month and loanee Scott Allan returning to Celtic. In addition, talisman John McGinn is expected to attract offers on the back of yet another fine campaign as he enters the final year of his contract.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743282.1527058001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743282.1527058001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Barnsley midfielder Stevie Mallan","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Barnsley midfielder Stevie Mallan","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743282.1527058001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/striker-simon-murray-vows-to-fight-for-his-hibs-place-1-4743259","id":"1.4743259","articleHeadline": "Striker Simon Murray vows to fight for his Hibs place","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527053448000 ,"articleLead": "

Simon Murray is determined to force his way back into Hibs boss Neil Lennon’s plans next season after ending the season on loan at Dundee.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743258.1527003534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray ended the season on loan at Dundee. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The striker moved to Dens Park as part of a three-way deal on transfer window deadline day at the end of January which saw Scott Allan move in the opposite direction, while goalkeeper Scott Bain, on loan from the Tayside club, switched from Hibs to Celtic.

The 26-year-old is aware of speculation linking him to a return to his former club Dundee United, while Motherwell have also been credited with an interest as have teams further abroad, Hibs having turned down a six-figure sum from a Turkish side while at their winter training camp in Portugal.

However, Murray revealed his intention has always been to see out the second year of his contract in the Capital.

He said: “I am contracted to Hibs and although I spent the second half of the season on loan at Dundee, my aim has always been to go back there. I still finished the season top scorer for them and even when I went to Dundee in January, the plan was always to go back.

“At the time I spoke to Neil Lennon and he stressed whether or not I went was entirely down to me. I could have stayed and he would have considered me for selection, but really the move came up because Anthony Stokes had left and they needed a No.10

“If I went to Dundee the gaffer said I would be back in the summer. He’s told me I can stake a claim for a place in the team next season and I knew, if he says that, he means it because he’s very honest with me.”

Murray believes his temporary stay at Dundee has been good for him as he’s gained a lot more Premiership experience, but he’s aware that if Hibs, who are hoping to have Swiss striker Flo Kamberi signed on a permanent deal, bring in further frontmen, then he may have to take another look at his future.

He said: “If they sign another striker or decide to go another way I’ll have to think about what happens next, so it is good to know other clubs are interested. If it doesn’t work out, the only person I will blame is myself.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743258.1527003534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743258.1527003534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray ended the season on loan at Dundee. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray ended the season on loan at Dundee. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743258.1527003534!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-announce-friendlies-against-linlithgow-rose-and-berwick-1-4743329","id":"1.4743329","articleHeadline": "Hibs announce friendlies against Linlithgow Rose and Berwick","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1527009190000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs will play friendlies away at Linlithgow Rose and Berwick Rangers as part of their pre-season preparations.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743328.1527009329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs will travel to Berwick Rangers for the fourth pre-season in a row. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Neil Lennon’s men will travel to Prestonfield to play Junior outfit Linlithgow on Saturday, June 30 (kick-off 3pm) before heading to the Borders to face League Two side Berwick on Wednesday, July 4 (kick-off 7.45pm).

It will be the fourth season in a row that Hibs have faced the Shielfield Park men for a pre-season match.

Hibs will then take on Blackburn Rovers on Sunday, July 8 (kick-off 3pm) for Paul Hanlon’s testimonial. The clash with Tony Mowbray’s English Championship newcomers will be their last game before the Europa League first qualifying round first leg, which is currently scheduled for Thursday, July 12.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743328.1527009329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743328.1527009329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs will travel to Berwick Rangers for the fourth pre-season in a row. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs will travel to Berwick Rangers for the fourth pre-season in a row. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743328.1527009329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/liverpool-star-recalls-hardest-game-against-hibs-brandon-barker-1-4743013","id":"1.4743013","articleHeadline": "Liverpool star recalls ‘hardest game’ against Hibs’ Brandon Barker","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526988691000 ,"articleLead": "

On Saturday night, Liverpool kid Trent Alexander-Arnold will come up against the likes of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo in the final of the Champions League.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743011.1526989368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trent Alexander-Arnold will take on Real Madrid on Saturday evening"} ,"articleBody": "

However, as he prepared this week to line up in Kiev’s NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, the 19-year-old’s mind cast back to the day he was given one of the most torrid games of his career by Hibs’ on-loan Manchester City winger Brandon Barker.

Alexander-Arnold, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past 12 months – so much so that he has forced his way into England’s World Cup squad – came up against Barker as he faced City’s Under-21 side.

City won the match 3-0 but Alexander-Arnold, then 17, was substituted long before the end. He recalled: “It was one of the first times I’d played at right-back.

“I was up against an unbelievable team and an unbelievable player in Brandon Barker. That’s probably one of the hardest games I’ve had.

“It brings back bad memories for me but it’s those type of games that help you learn.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743011.1526989368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743011.1526989368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Trent Alexander-Arnold will take on Real Madrid on Saturday evening","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Trent Alexander-Arnold will take on Real Madrid on Saturday evening","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743011.1526989368!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4743012.1526989374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4743012.1526989374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brandon Barker impressed while on loan at Hibs","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brandon Barker impressed while on loan at Hibs","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4743012.1526989374!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/analysis-who-hibs-could-face-in-the-europa-league-1-4742637","id":"1.4742637","articleHeadline": "Analysis: Who Hibs could face in the Europa League","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526981204000 ,"articleLead": "

Olivier Ntcham’s shot had barely hit the back of Trevor Carson’s net as Twitter came alive with jubilant Hibs fans posting pictures of hands reaching into drawers to retrieve passports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742632.1526914111!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gradski Stadium in Podgorica, Montenegro, where Hibs would play Buducnost should they draw them. Pic: Getty"} ,"articleBody": "

Ntcham’s goal, Celtic’s second of their Scottish Cup final victory against Motherwell, had, of course, secured the Hoops historic back-to-back trebles but, of far more importance to the Easter Road support, it confirmed Hibs’ fourth-place finish in the Premiership would be enough to take Neil Lennon’s players into next season’s Europa League.

Hibs’ season will – as it did two years ago in what was Lennon’s first competitive match as head coach – begin against continental opposition, the obvious hope being this time round will bring more joy than that cruel penalty shoot-out defeat by Danish outfit Brondby.

The Capital club won’t know exactly where they’ll be heading until the draw for the first and second qualifying rounds are made at UEFA’s headquarters in the Swiss town of Nyon on June 19.

However, that small detail won’t stop some heated debate in the meantime with all sorts of topics up for discussion, probably no more so than which opposition would offer, potentially, the best chance of making progress.

To that end, the fact Hibs will be among the seeded teams – albeit towards the lower end of that particular echelon – will bring some optimism as Lennon’s side will avoid “bigger” guns such as Maccabi Tel Aviv, Partizan Belgrade, Molde and Apollon Limassol.

There are, though, more than a few intriguing destinations and a couple of familiar faces lying in wait.

Take, for example, Finnish side Kuopion Palloseura (better known as KUPs), a name which probably won’t register with many Hibs fans until they notice former Easter Road goalkeeper Otso Virtanen – who didn’t last long after his first-leg blunder against Brondby – and Lithuanian striker Deivydas Matulevicius, who also had his time at Easter Road cut short, currently play for the Veikkauslinga club. Icelandic outfit Stjarnan are recent newcomers to the European stage, but did put Motherwell out of this competition in 2014 en-route to a play-off defeat by Inter Milan, although they were well beaten by Celtic in the Champions League the following year.

The mere mention of Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg will send a shiver down the spine of any Rangers supporter, the Ibrox club’s shock defeat a year ago prompting that famous “rant from a bush” as then boss Pedro Caixinha confronted rightly furious supporters, a result which helped hasten the Portuguese coach’s exit.

Hibs will be hoping to avoid the horror of eight-hour flights to face Armenia’s Banants Yerevan – although they have won just one of 22 matches in Europe – or Gandzaasar Kapan, who have an equally dismal record, while an equally gruelling trip to take on Georgia’s Chikhura Sachkhere, with three wins in 14 matches at this level, is another they’ll be looking to avoid.

Thankfully, Lennon and his players needn’t worry about the time-consuming and energy-sapping journey from being drawn against any of Kazakhstan’s entrants as FC Kairat, FC Irtysh Pavlodar and FC Tobol are all seeded.

Closer to home, Northern Ireland’s Cliftonville, Coleraine and Glenavon would help guarantee an impressive travelling support given the ease with which fans could travel to those clubs, as would being drawn against Connah’s Quay, the Welsh outfit beaten in last season’s Betfred Cup by Dumbarton.

No disrespect to any of them, but no doubt Hibs supporters will no doubt be looking for the draw to deliver them a taste of somewhere that truly smacks of Europe. On June 19, Hibs will not only discover who they will definitely be playing but also who will be lying in wait should they, as hoped, make a bit of progress.

Hibs will be unseeded should they make the second qualifying round and it only takes a swift glance at the clubs coming in at that stage to get the juices flowing – as Lennon himself might say.

Heading the seeds are Spain’s Sevilla – former Europa League winners – Turkish side Besiktas and Braga of Portugal.

Not all of the teams have been confirmed for the first round of the Europa League, but here is a list of all the qualified unseeded teams that Hibs could face:

ICELAND

Stjarnan, IBV Vestmannaeyja

MOLDOVA

Milsami Orhei, Petrocub Hincesti

N IRELAND

Cliftonville, Coleraine, Glenavon

SLOVAKIA

DAC Dunajská Streda

MONTENEGRO

Buducnost Podgorica

BOSNIA

Siroki Brijeg

ARMENIA

Pyunik, Gandzasar, Banants Yerevan

ALBANIA

Partizani, Luftëtari Gjirokastër, Laci

GEORGIA

Chikhura Sachkhere, Samtredia

LATVIA

Liepaja, Riga FC

FINLAND

KUPS Kuopio, Ilves, Lahti

REP OF IRELAND

Shamrock Rovers, Derry City

ESTONIA

Trans Narva

LITHUANIA

Stumbras Kaunas

MALTA

Balzan

LUXEMBOURG

Progrès Niederkorn

WALES

Connah’s Quay

FAROE ISLANDS

NSI Runavik

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742632.1526914111!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742632.1526914111!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gradski Stadium in Podgorica, Montenegro, where Hibs would play Buducnost should they draw them. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gradski Stadium in Podgorica, Montenegro, where Hibs would play Buducnost should they draw them. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742632.1526914111!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742633.1526914116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742633.1526914116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs could be off to play Stjarnan in Iceland. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs could be off to play Stjarnan in Iceland. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742633.1526914116!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742634.1526914119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742634.1526914119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mount Ararat looks over Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mount Ararat looks over Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742634.1526914119!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742635.1526914124!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742635.1526914124!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gjirokast�r, Albania, is one of the more far-flung destinations for Hibs. Pic: Getty","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gjirokast�r, Albania, is one of the more far-flung destinations for Hibs. Pic: Getty","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742635.1526914124!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742636.1526914127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742636.1526914127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Progres Niederkorn celebrate a famous victory over Rangers last season. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Progres Niederkorn celebrate a famous victory over Rangers last season. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742636.1526914127!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-to-remain-at-home-for-europa-league-preparations-1-4742718","id":"1.4742718","articleHeadline": "Hibs to remain at home for Europa League preparations","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526967059000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs will prepare for their Europa League adventure at their East Mains training base rather than travel abroad, the Evening News has learned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742717.1526919975!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

Neil Lennon’s players will kick off their season in the first qualifying round of the competition – the first leg being on July 12 – and will discover their opponents when the draw is made in Nyon on June 19, a few days after they report back to work.

The Easter Road club qualified thanks to Celtic winning the Scottish Cup, their fourth-place finish in the Premiership proving to be good enough, but their pre-season plans had always centred on a “staycation” rather than venturing further afield – the routine they followed last summer before they returned to the top flight after a three-year absence.

With their £5 million centre on the outskirts of Ormiston at their disposal and Scotland enjoying, hopefully, the best weather of the year at that time club officials see little point in going to the expense of travelling abroad only to enjoy similar facilities. The shortness of the close-season has also been another factor with the Betfred Cup group stages kicking off on July 14 although Hibs will now not enter that competition until August 18.

Any trip would, they say, eat into what is a vital period with three days on the training ground likely to be lost – two in travelling to and from any intended destination while another would probably be needed to in give the players a “recovery” day on their return.

Instead, Hibs will probably aim to finance some warm-weather training during the Premiership’s winter shutdown.

A schedule of friendlies to bring Lennon’s players up to speed is also in the process of being organised with the visit of Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers, newly promoted to the English Championship, for Paul Hanlon’s Testimonial Match on Saturday, July 8, offering a final chance to fine-tune the squad ahead of that European tie.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742717.1526919975!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742717.1526919975!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742717.1526919975!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/ex-hibs-striker-grant-holt-signs-pro-wrestling-deal-1-4742758","id":"1.4742758","articleHeadline": "Ex-Hibs striker Grant Holt signs pro wrestling deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526929893000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Hibs striker Grant Holt has signed a deal to become a professional wrestler, World Association of Wrestling has announced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742757.1526929890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grant Holt in action for Hibs. The veteran forward played 39 times for the Easter Road side last season. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

Holt, 37, currently player-coach at National League side Barrow, has agreed a deal with the British professional wrestling promotion to appear in more than one of their shows.

“Wow @Grantholt31 will be in action at waw supershow,” WAW revealed on Twitter on Thursday.

WAW said Holt will appear in its Fightmare 3 Supershow in 2019, while BBC Radio Norfolk have also reported he has signed a contract to become a professional wrestler.

The former Nottingham Forest forward will team up with Roy and Zak Knight, also known as the UK Hooligans, on WAW’s show.

WAW was founded by Ricky Knight, Saraya Knight and Jimmy Ocean in Norwich in 1994.

Ricky and Saraya Knight’s daughter Paige currently appears on American promotion World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

A film about Paige, Fighting With My Family, written and directed by Stephen Merchant and starring Dwayne Johnson, is scheduled for release in March next year.

Grant has scored over 150 goals in more than 400 career appearances as a footballer, with Rochdale, Shrewsbury and Wigan also among his former clubs.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742757.1526929890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742757.1526929890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Grant Holt in action for Hibs. The veteran forward played 39 times for the Easter Road side last season. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Grant Holt in action for Hibs. The veteran forward played 39 times for the Easter Road side last season. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742757.1526929890!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/hibs-legends-to-play-in-memorial-game-for-shaun-woodburn-1-4742330","id":"1.4742330","articleHeadline": "Hibs legends to play in memorial game for Shaun Woodburn","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526888784000 ,"articleLead": "

STARS Garry O’Connor and Derek Riordan will play side-by-side for the first time since their Hibs heyday in a fundraising game in memory of tragic Shaun Woodburn.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742329.1526888781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs stars will play in a game for tragic Shaun Woodburn."} ,"articleBody": "

They will line up alongside fellow former Easter Road players against Shaun’s former Leith Athletic teammates next Friday on Leith Links.

Money raised will be donated to Street Soccer Scotland, a charity chosen by Shaun’s family to honour his legacy after he was killed on New Year’s Day last year.

Shaun’s mum Denise Syme, 56, said: “This evening of football is a great tribute to Shaun and seeing his old teammates play against his football heroes is a fitting tribute to his life and his love of the game.

“We hope to raise a lot of money for Street Soccer Scotland and bring the love of football to people young and old who need something meaningful in their lives.”

O’Connor and Riordan last played together at Hibs in the feted 2006 side managed by Tony Mowbray.

READ MORE: Father of Shaun Woodburn ‘questions justice system’ after son’s killing

Defender Shaun began and ended his promising junior career at Leith Athletic – and supported Hibs as a boy.

“I’m sure Shaun will be watching with a big smile on his face – not sure what team he will be cheering on though,” joked Denise.

“It’s a great family evening and I hope to see lots of families and friends there.”

Also making up the Hibs Legend team will be heroes of the club’s 1991 League Cup triumph – Mickey Weir, Keith Wright and Gordon Hunter.

Darren Jackson, who also played for Hearts and Celtic, Gary Smith and Steven Tweed are also part of the squad.

Entry is free with fans asked to make donations to the Street Soccer Scotland charity.

READ MORE: Mother of Shaun Woodburn vows to keep fighting for justice

Volunteers from the charity will also run a stall selling merchandise, while specially commissioned programmes will be available to buy also.

Businesses have also provided sponsorship to boost the amount raised for the Leith-based charity, which helps homeless and other vulnerable adults through football.

Fans, meanwhile, can sponsor individual players for £50 with some still available.

Organisers Leith Community Fundraising Organisation, is also arranging a Shaun Woodburn Cup on June 2.

More than £8,000 was raised from mourners at Shaun’s funeral and a series of similar events last year.

Dad-of-one Shaun, 30, was killed while celebrating New Year in 2017 with friends in Leith including Hibs player Danny Swanson.

Ger Freedman, of Leith Community Fundraising Organisation, said: “Hopefully this will be something to make Shaun’s family smile – something positive to come out of all this.

“It’s about folk coming down and helping raise money for a great organisation.”

Shaun was a Leith Athletic player when the club was founded in 1996 – before going on to play for Bonnyrigg Rose.

“He was a lovely, lovely lad,” added Mr Freedman, also honorary life chairman of the club. “It was such a shock to us what happened. All the lads knew him and played with him – it’ll be an emotional night.”

The Hibs Legends v Leith Athletic match kicks off on Leith Links at 6.30pm next Friday, May 25, with further details available at: https://www.facebook.com/leithcfc/

Legends squad

Garry O’Connor

Derek Riordan

Darren Jackson

Gordon Hunter

Darren Dodds

Graham Harvey

Steven Tweed

Mark McGraw

Keith Wright

Tam Aitchison

Lee Currie

Blair Tolmie

Jordan Cropley

Willie Jamieson

Steven Raynes

Sean Welsh

Billy Bald

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742329.1526888781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742329.1526888781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs stars will play in a game for tragic Shaun Woodburn.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs stars will play in a game for tragic Shaun Woodburn.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742329.1526888781!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-likely-to-be-seeded-in-europa-league-tie-1-4742215","id":"1.4742215","articleHeadline": "Hibs likely to be seeded in Europa League tie","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526829384000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs’ first competitive match of the 2018/19 season will be a Europa League tie after Celtic’s victory in the Scottish Cup final clinched continental football for the Easter Road side.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742214.1526832679!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon"} ,"articleBody": "

Celtic defeated Motherwell 2-0 in Saturday’s final and because they have already qualified for the Champions League due to winning the SPFL Premiership, the Europa League spot allocated to the Scottish Cup winners goes to the fourth-placed team in the league.

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon guided his men to fourth in the Premiership in their first season back in the top-flight of Scottish football following relegation in 2014 and can now celebrate being back in Europe.

The Capital club enter the Europa League at the first qualifying round stage and are likely to be seeded, although that will not be confirmed until all the participants are known.

Hibs have a UEFA coefficient of 3.725 – the same as Rangers, who enter the tournament at the same stage, while second-qualifying round entrants Aberdeen are rated at 4.000 – and will hope to be seeded as to avoid teams such as Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv and Norwegian side Molde, who are the highest ranked teams in the first qualifying round.

However, if Hibs are to make it into the second qualifying round, they are odds-on to be unseeded and could face teams such as Spanish giants Sevilla, Turkish heavyweights Besiktas and English Premier League outfit Burnley.

The match dates for the first qualifying round are Thursday, July 12 and Thursday, July 19, and the second qualifying round dates are Thursday, July 26 and Thursday, 
August 3, although these can be brought forward by 24 hours if two teams from the same city are due to play at home on the same evening.

Hibs will find out their Europa League opponents on Friday, June 19, when the draw is made in the Swiss town of Nyon for both the first and second qualifying round.

The Easter Road side’s last match in the competition was a narrow defeat by Danish side Brondby in 2016. After losing the first leg 1-0 at home, they won the return in Copenhagen by the same scoreline, but lost out on penalties.

Their participation in the Europa League means that Hibs receive a bye for the Betfred Cup group stages. They will enter that tournament in the second-round stage on Saturday, August 18 and will be seeded.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4742214.1526832679!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4742214.1526832679!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4742214.1526832679!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-qualify-for-europe-after-celtic-win-scottish-cup-1-4741970","id":"1.4741970","articleHeadline": "Hibs qualify for Europe after Celtic win Scottish Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526745662000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs have qualified for next season’s Europa League with their fourth place finish after Celtic’s 2-0 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup final, writes Matt Farnham.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741969.1526745852!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs manager Neil Lennon with the aeroplane. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Quiz: How well do you remember Hibs’ 2017/2018 season?

The Easter Road side will enter the first qualifying round pot on 19 June in Nyon, with Aberdeen being pushed into the second qualifying round on 26 July.

European football was something Hibs boss Neil Lennon set as a target at the start of the season. A disappointing last week of the season stopped them from finishing third but thanks to the Scottish Cup winning place reverting to league position via Celtic’s win the club will be on their travels.

The first-leg is to be played 12 July with the second-leg a week later on 19 July.

Lennon can now start planning for the European adventure with the additional funds a bonus to the club, as European football for attracting potential signings to the club.

For Hibs, as well as Rangers, to make the group stage of the Europa League they will have to win through four rounds, while Aberdeen will need to progress through three.

Key Dates for Europa League:

June

12 June: Preliminary round draw

19 June: First & second qualifying round draws

28 June: Preliminary round, first leg

July

5 July: Preliminary round, second leg

12 July: First qualifying round, first leg

19 July: First qualifying round, second leg

23 July: Third qualifying round draw

26 July: Second qualifying round, first leg

August

2 August: Second qualifying round, second leg

6 August: Play-off round draw

9 August: Third qualifying round, first leg

16 August: Third qualifying round, second leg

23 August: Play-off round, first leg

30 August: Play-off round, second leg

31 August: Group stage draw

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741969.1526745852!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741969.1526745852!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs manager Neil Lennon with the aeroplane. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs manager Neil Lennon with the aeroplane. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741969.1526745852!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/quiz-how-well-do-you-remember-hibs-2017-2018-season-1-4741871","id":"1.4741871","articleHeadline": "Quiz: How well do you remember Hibs’ 2017/2018 season?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526732645000 ,"articleLead": "

What a season it has been for Hibs following their return to the top-flight after three seasons in the Labdrokes Championship.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741869.1526732641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs fans welcome their heroes at a packed Easter Road. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey"} ,"articleBody": "

• READ MORE: Hibs boss Neil Lennon’s best quotes from season 2017/18

Neil Lennon’s men have impressed with their swashbuckling football and the part they played in a variety of thrilling contests.

The Hibees just came up short of a second place finish at the end of the season but fourth was a respectable effort in what has been a competitive Ladbrokes Premiership division.

Some players have shown they belong at the club, while others have come in and won the hearts of the Hibs faithful.

• READ MORE: Watch: The 10 best Hibs goals of the 2017/18 season

There were two wins at Ibrox, a first win over Celtic in many a year, two derby victories and, of course, that madcap 5-5 with Rangers to finish the season.

Take our quiz to find out how well you remember the season which has just been.

Join our Facebook group Our Edinburgh to share images and news from and around the Capital

Know someone that makes a difference in our community? Nominate them for a Local Hero Award HERE

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741869.1526732641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741869.1526732641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs fans welcome their heroes at a packed Easter Road. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs fans welcome their heroes at a packed Easter Road. Picture: SNS/Rob Casey","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741869.1526732641!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/cammy-bell-departs-hibs-as-efe-ambrose-call-is-slammed-1-4741672","id":"1.4741672","articleHeadline": "Cammy Bell departs Hibs as Efe Ambrose call is slammed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526707840000 ,"articleLead": "

Cammy Bell has left Hibs after the club decided against offering the back-up goalkeeper a contract extension.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741671.1526659572!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cammy Bell. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 31-year-old was signed on a short-term deal at the end of January after Scott Bain, who had joined from Dundee just a few weeks earlier, was allowed to go to Celtic as part of a three-way transfer that involved Simon Murray heading to Dens Park on loan and Scott Allan moving from Celtic to Easter Road.

Bell made two appearances for Hibs as he came off the bench following Ofir Marciano’s early red card in a 1-1 draw away to St Johnstone in March and then played the entire 90 minutes of the following match - a 2-0 win at home to Partick Thistle - as the Israeli served his suspension.

Although he performed well when called upon, the impending return from a long-term shoulder injury of Ross Laidlaw, who is under contract for another season, means Hibs have no need to offer Bell, the former Kilmarnock, Rangers and Dundee United goalkeeper, a new deal.

Meanwhile, Efe Ambrose has been left out of Nigeria’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad. The Hibs defender hasn’t featured for his national team for almost two years, but there was surprise in his homeland that he wasn’t recalled for the upcoming finals in Russia after an excellent campaign at Easter Road. Former Nigeria manager Samson Siasia said: “I think Efe’s experience and form for Hibernian is good enough to get him into the list and he would be of immense help to the Super Eagles defence at the World Cup.

“I cannot believe the coach has not included Efe. Given the problems we have in defence, the calming influence of Efe would have been perfect for us. He’s had a great campaign and is very experienced too. It’s nothing to do with sentiment – I just think Efe deserves to be in Russia. He’s been a very good player for us.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741671.1526659572!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741671.1526659572!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cammy Bell. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cammy Bell. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741671.1526659572!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibee-history-scott-brown-helps-to-shoot-down-his-new-club-1-4741485","id":"1.4741485","articleHeadline": "Hibee History: Scott Brown helps to shoot down his new club","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526707800000 ,"articleLead": "

Scott Brown marked his final game for Hibs by helping them to victory against new club Celtic.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741484.1526643511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown flies through the air to head home his side's equaliser"} ,"articleBody": "

The 21-year-old, who agreed a £4.4m summer move to Celtic on Wednesday, headed in a 60th-minute equaliser from Dean Shiels’ cross. That left substitute Ivan Sproule to break clear and fire a late winner.

Former Hibee Derek Riordan had put Celtic ahead after 56 minutes when the striker powered down the left and finished from the tightest of angles.

But that goal came against the run of play and Hibs’ dramatic victory, which ended a run of nine games without a win, was as deserved as it was unlikely.

Celtic, whose manager Gordan Strachan sat in the stands after undergoing a hip operation, made a host of changes with the Scottish Cup final in mind - keeper Mark Brown and midfielder Theodore Bjarnason making their debuts.

Hibs, looking for their first home win over Celtic in 12 games, were the better side in the first-half.

Brown, who was loudly cheered by both home and away fans, relished his chance to impress and he was unlucky not to make contact with a fine David Murphy cross after just six minutes.

Hibs had much the better of the first-half, without making too many clear-cut chances, while Celtic were limited to a Bjarnason shot which was tipped onto the bar by Andrew McNeil.

Celtic looked to be asserting themselves on the game after the break when Craig Beattie latched on to a Thomas Gravesen pass and stroked the ball home, only to be flagged offside.

Nonetheless, Riordan’s goal came as something of a surprise.

The ex-Hibs player was chased to the byeline by Chris Hogg but still managed to get in a shot which somehow beat Hibs keeper Andrew McNeil.

Four minutes later, Brown’s flying header levelled matters and Merouane Zemmama should have made it 2-1 two minutes from the end but he blazed over from six yards 
out.

But there was still time for a final twist, Sproule rounding Celtic’s Brown and firing through Stephen McManus’ legs.

Hibs: McNeil, Whittaker, Jones, Hogg, Murphy, Stevenson, Zemmama, Scott Brown (Chisholm 90), McCann, Fletcher (Campbell 82), Shiels (Sproule 83). Subs Not Used: Simon Brown, Beuzelin, Gray, Martis.

Celtic: Brown, Perrier Doumbe, Kennedy, McManus, O’Dea, Hartley, Caldwell, Gravesen (McGeady 69), Bjarnason, Riordan, Beattie (Sheridan 88). Subs Not Used: McGovern, Irdine, Conroy, Cuthbert, Paul Caddis.

Ref: Iain Brines.

Att: 13,885.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hibs 2, Celtic 1. (SPL). Sunday, May 20, 2007"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741484.1526643511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741484.1526643511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Brown flies through the air to head home his side's equaliser","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Brown flies through the air to head home his side's equaliser","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741484.1526643511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-defender-ryan-porteous-is-relishing-test-at-toulon-tournament-1-4741103","id":"1.4741103","articleHeadline": "Hibs defender Ryan Porteous is relishing test at Toulon Tournament","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526621453000 ,"articleLead": "

Ryan Porteous is heading for the sun next week, but rather than enjoying a golfing holiday in Cyprus with his father Tom, the Hibs kid will be in the south of France taking part in the prestigious Toulon Tournament.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741100.1526569383!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Porteous"} ,"articleBody": "

Skipper of Scotland’s Under-19 side, the Easter Road defender admitted he was surprised to get the call to join Scot Gemmill’s Under-21 squad which will face Togo, France and South Korea.

As he flies out to Marseille on Wednesday, he’ll no doubt reflect on what has been a memorable 12 months for both club and country.

Having spent an impressive season on loan at Edinburgh City, many expected the teenager to be farmed out again, with Dumbarton boss Steve Aitken seemingly sure he’d be joining his Championship side.

Hibs head coach Neil Lennon, however, had other ideas and although he didn’t play as much first-team football as he might have hoped, Porteous still managed to cram in more than a few special moments, captaining the Edinburgh club’s development squad to league and cup glory, a man-of-the-match performance as he started his first Premiership match against Rangers at Ibrox and a first top-flight goal at Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.

“If I had gone out on loan again I’m sure it would have been a good experience,” he said. “But not as good as training with the first team, being with them in the hotel before games and watching them play and getting involved in games myself.

“I certainly feel I could have played more first-team football, but when you are trying to break through and have Efe Ambrose, Darren McGregor and Paul Hanlon ahead of you, it’s obviously going to be difficult.

“It’s a case of trying to be patient and hoping to get as many opportunities as possible.”

The early stages of the Betfred Cup afforded Porteous a string of starts, but thereafter he had to contend with watching from the bench, enjoying a few cameo appearances before, with both McGregor and Hanlon out injured, Lennon pitched him in at Ibrox at the centre of a makeshift defence which saw Ambrose on one side and Lewis Stevenson on the other.

Although he declared he’d treated the experience as “any other development game”, Porteous now confesses: “It probably didn’t sink in at the time, but when you look back it does feel a bit surreal.

“It wasn’t going to be easy, but it was easier with the experience of Efe and Lewy alongside you and Ofir Marciano behind us, while the gaffer had told me to go out and just play to the best of my ability.”

Although Hibs won for a second time at Ibrox, Porteous did learn an important lesson, having gifted Rangers a free-kick which allowed Sean Goss to cancel out John McGinn’s opener.

He said: “I tried to play cool and bring the ball down on my chest when I should just have headed it 20 or 30 yards up the pitch. Luckily Scott Allan went on a run, beating four or five of them and won us a penalty a few minutes later.

“The funny thing was a few weeks later at Rugby Park I found myself in the same situation so I headed the ball as far as I could and when I looked round there was [assistant manager] Garry Parker slapping his chest, telling me I should have brought it down.”

While Porteous, Oli Shaw and Fraser Murray all found themselves part of Lennon’s plans, the three youngsters also played their part in ensuring Hibs took the SPFL Development League title before going on to lift the SFA Youth Cup by beating Aberdeen in the final at Hampden.

Porteous said: “We all felt we should have won the league the year before, but we were a bit sloppy here and there. But we went out with the intention of wining every single game and although we didn’t start brilliantly we were top for the majority of the season.”

A penalty shoot-out win over Celtic took Grant Murray’s side into the Youth Cup final, Porteous scoring their second goal as they came back from going behind to win 3-1, his joy at putting Hibs ahead ending with a somewhat red face as his celebrations went wrong.

Attempting a “knee slide”, he landed flat on his face, much to the amusement of his team-mates. “I must have hit a dodgy bit of grass,” he claimed, “But in future I’ll leave that sort of thing to the strikers who know what they are doing.”

Now Porteous is looking forward to another chapter in his football education, all 11 of his Under-19 caps over the past year having come against European opposition.

He said: “It will be entirely new to play the likes of Togo and South Korea and see what style of football they play, while France will be tough, they always are. I’ve played a couple of friendlies against them and it’s a bit scary to think the likes of Kylian Mpabbe is still young enough to play at this level.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741100.1526569383!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741100.1526569383!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ryan Porteous","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ryan Porteous","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741100.1526569383!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741101.1526569386!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741101.1526569386!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs' Ryan Porteous with the SPFL Development League trophy. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Ryan Porteous with the SPFL Development League trophy. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741101.1526569386!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741102.1526569391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741102.1526569391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Porteous lifts the Scottish Youth Cup trophy. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Porteous lifts the Scottish Youth Cup trophy. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741102.1526569391!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/neil-lennon-form-of-loanees-are-great-advert-for-hibs-1-4741132","id":"1.4741132","articleHeadline": "Neil Lennon: Form of loanees are ‘great advert’ for Hibs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526621427000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon feels the performances of Scott Allan, Florian Kamberi, Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Barker while on loan at Easter Road have been “a great advert” for Hibs and will help entice new players to the Capital club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741131.1526572329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Allan and Florian Kamberi flourished during their spell at Hibs. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The quartet are all returning to their parent clubs and, although Lennon revealed he’d love to see some of them back next season, he conceded that in the case of each finances could dictate what happens.

Lennon faces the challenge of rebuilding his squad with midfielder Dylan McGeouch also heading for the exit door, the Hibs boss admitting he was “a little frustrated” at having to do so after the success of the past two seasons but accepted the “reality of it.”

Midfielder Allan will return to Celtic after a second spell in Edinburgh claiming to be a better player for having done so, while stating Hibs have moved on “ten fold” since his first season.

Kamberi is due to rejoin Swiss outfit Grasshoppers Zurich, although Hibs have first option on the striker, while Maclaren and Barker both have two years of their current contracts to run at German side Darmstadt and Manchester City respectively.

However, Lennon believes that all four have benefited hugely from their time in a green-and-white shirt. He said: “I think the club has been good for the players here on loan and they have been good for the club.

“But, in terms of profile and performance, the style of football, I think they will look back on this period as probably one of the fondest in their careers. They are young players who have maybe lost their way a little bit and Hibs have given them that opportunity to show what they can do – and they have certainly done that.

“That in itself is a good advert for the club in terms of attracting players.”

Lennon has previously admitted he took a gamble during the January transfer window in replacing Hibs’ two top scorers, Anthony Stokes and Simon Murray, with the unknown Kamberi and Maclaren, the pair vindicating his decision by scoring 17 goals between them in the second half of the season.

“I would love to have them both back,” revealed Lennon. “We have an option on Flo but it may come down to finances. Jamie is out of our control at Darmstadt and the way he has been scoring goals he’d probably walk back into their first team.

“Brandon is an exciting young talent but he is a Manchester City player. They may want to cash in on him and that would be a little bit too rich for us.

“In terms of Scott, that’s complicated because he is Celtic’s player and I think Brendan Rodgers has intimated they may want to move him on. I am sure there will be a hefty fee involved.

“But it has been a joy working with them. a real joy. It’s been good to see good footballers play good football.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741131.1526572329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741131.1526572329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scott Allan and Florian Kamberi flourished during their spell at Hibs. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scott Allan and Florian Kamberi flourished during their spell at Hibs. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741131.1526572329!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/watch-the-10-best-hibs-goals-of-the-2017-18-season-1-4741088","id":"1.4741088","articleHeadline": "Watch: The 10 best Hibs goals of the 2017/18 season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526568321000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs finished fourth, reached the semi-finals of the Betfred Cup and scored more than 60 goals along the way. We’ve picked out our ten best strikes from the men in green and white...

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741086.1526568318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs scored more than 60 goals over the course of 2017/18 - we've picked out the top ten. Picture: SNS Group"} ,"articleBody": "

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4741086.1526568318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4741086.1526568318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs scored more than 60 goals over the course of 2017/18 - we've picked out the top ten. Picture: SNS Group","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs scored more than 60 goals over the course of 2017/18 - we've picked out the top ten. Picture: SNS Group","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4741086.1526568318!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-transfer-agreement-on-florian-kamberi-can-t-be-broken-1-4740577","id":"1.4740577","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ transfer agreement on Florian Kamberi can’t be broken","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526535042000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs are optimistic Florian Kamberi will be back at Easter Road next season despite claims he’s set to return to Swiss club Grasshoppers Zurich.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740576.1526549217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Florian Kamberi has scored nine goals in 14 Hibs appearances"} ,"articleBody": "

The Edinburgh outfit agreed a transfer fee with a view to a permanent deal with Grasshoppers when the 23-year-old moved to the Capital on loan in January and, the Evening News understands, it is an accord which can’t be broken.

Doubt was cast on Kamberi’s future with Neil Lennon’s side when Grasshoppers sports director Mathias Walther 
revealed all loan players were being recalled to allow new manager Thorsten Frink to assess them following a disappointing season in which they’d finished eighth in a league of ten clubs.

Kamberi still has a year of his contract with Grasshoppers to run, but had found himself frozen out following a season on loan with German side Karlsruhe. However, after arriving in Edinburgh as an unknown, he’s emerged as a free-scoring striker, netting nine goals in 14 appearances for Hibs as they finished their first season back in the Premiership in fourth place.

Hibs were well aware of Kamberi’s situation at that time and struck a deal which gives them first option on the player, which means that provided they meet the agreed fee – said by Lennon to be “affordable” – then Grasshoppers can’t block his departure.

However, Kamberi won’t become a Hibs player until his own personal terms are agreed, although the News understands talks with him and his agent are at an advanced stage with the Easter Road club quietly confident they’ll land the former Swiss Under-21 hitman.

Lennon has also said he’d like to see Jamie Maclaren, who forged a prolific partnership with Kamberi with the pair scoring 17 goals between them, back in a green-and-white shirt next season, but the Australian striker has two years of his contract with German Bundesliga 2 side Darmstadt still to run.

Maclaren has a clause in his deal which would have released him from it had Darmstadt been relegated to the third tier of German football, a scenario which looked distinctly possible until they saved themselves by winning their final two league games.

The 24-year-old, who missed out on being part of the Socceroos World Cup squad despite claiming a hat-trick in Hibs’ final game of the season against Rangers, has admitted he doesn’t want to return to Germany having seen his move from Australian side Brisbane Roar turn sour and will be telling Darmstadt to listen to offers for him.

But, he revealed, he now fears Darmstadt – where he is said to enjoy “a very good salary” – may now place a hefty price tag on his head following his successful spell at Hibs.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740576.1526549217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740576.1526549217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Florian Kamberi has scored nine goals in 14 Hibs appearances","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Florian Kamberi has scored nine goals in 14 Hibs appearances","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740576.1526549217!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5775052899001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/florian-kamberi-hibs-were-the-right-team-in-the-right-place-1-4740424","id":"1.4740424","articleHeadline": "Florian Kamberi: Hibs were the right team in the right place","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526535000000 ,"articleLead": "

Florian Kamberi has revealed how he knew he had made the right move in joining Hibs within minutes of starting his first game.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740423.1526481041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Florian Kamberi scores against Rangers"} ,"articleBody": "

Frozen out in Switzerland, Kamberi was red-hot in Edinburgh. It took him just 28 minutes to grab his first goal for the Capital club after agreeing to move from Grasshopper Club Zurich on loan until the end of the season.

And that opening strike in a 2-1 win over Motherwell on the final day of January was only the start, the 23-year-old going on to score nine goals in 14 appearances, ending up on the losing side just once in a run in which Neil Lennon’s players narrowly missed out on what would have been a fairytale return to the Ladbrokes Premiership with a runners-up place.

Lennon only decided on signing Kamberi after an extended trial period, admitting he didn’t have the greatest of goalscoring records but believing he would add a much-need physical presence up front.

It was a gamble to pair him with another new arrival, Australian forward Jamie Maclaren, the duo not only strangers to each other but Scottish football.

However, it paid off with 17 goals between them as Hibs ended up in a highly-creditable fourth place, wrapping up their season with an “absolutely bonkers” 5-5 draw with Rangers.

Throughout Kamberi has remained coy as to his immediate future although Hibs do have a deal in place, an affordable fee agreed with Grasshoppers, the striker having returned home to contemplate on what happens next although he has readily admitted to thoroughly enjoyed his time in Edinburgh.

And that, he insisted, was very much down to Lennon. “I felt his trust from the very first day I arrived and, if you feel that trust, you can almost play your best in every single game. You can play free without pressure.

“That is what I was able to do and I have to thank the manager a lot because he gave me that trust. I don’t think I made one step forward working for him – I think I made two steps forward.

“It was amazing. He is such a winner and the lads in the team are also the same – that’s why we had such a successful season.”

Unsurprisingly, Kamberi revealed his most memorable moment was that first goal which came only minutes after he had rattled Motherwell goalkeeper Trevor Carson’s crossbar, a strike which even surpassed his hat-trick against Hamilton.

He said: “Right there, I had a good feeling that I had made the right move, scoring my first goal on debut.

“From there, every game I felt I was in the right place with the right team and the right manager. That’s why myself and all of the team has been successful.

“I scored a few goals, I helped the team and we managed to win a lot of games, so it was a very good season for me and for the whole club.”

As always, there will be changes over the summer with midfielder Dylan McGeouch poised to leave Hibs while Maclaren will return to German side Darmstadt where he has two years of his contract to run and fellow loanees Scott Allan and Brandon Barker will rejoin Celtic and Manchester City respectively.

Lennon has admitted that financially it may be difficult to bring Maclaren, Allan and Barker back on permanent deals but, given the agreement struck between Hibs and Grasshoppers, it would appear a return for Kamberi may be more realistic – if he wants it.

He said: “The season has finished with a tough and interesting game and I’m now back with my family for holidays. Over the next weeks, we’ll see what is going to happen.

“I’d been thinking game-by-game to give performances for the team, but now is the time to sit together with my agent.

“I enjoyed the time at Hibs a lot. My team-mates are incredible. There will be some changes in the team, so we have to wait and see. Dylan going will be a big loss for Hibs.

“You could see through the weeks he developed his performances with every game. Of course, every player wants to make the next step and he is now making his next step and I’m sure he will be successful in that next part of his career.

“The manager will try to take the club beyond fourth place, but for this to happen, you have to invest in new players if some are going to leave.

“He has an idea how to build another team. He is a big manager who knows a good player and how to take him forward. But it is not just down to him, the whole club has to invest for him to get those new players.”

New faces will inevitably arrive in the coming weeks, Graeme Mathie, Hibs’ head of player identification and recruitment, has been working hard, as he did in pinpointing Kamberi and Maclaren, to identify potential signings.

Kamberi, though, was adamant one thing at the club should remain the same, Lennon’s unswerving demand 
for the highest of standards.

The Hibs boss let rip in no uncertain terms following the derby defeat that ended his team’s hopes of overhauling Aberdeen and Rangers but, insisted Kamberi, he was right to do so.

He said: “It was a bad game for us. He is in charge and we have to follow his advice and his words. When we returned to play Rangers we saw the Hibs team every knows and that shows he was right.

“He should always say in the same way.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740423.1526481041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740423.1526481041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Florian Kamberi scores against Rangers","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Florian Kamberi scores against Rangers","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740423.1526481041!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-boss-neil-lennon-s-best-quotes-from-season-2017-18-1-4740591","id":"1.4740591","articleHeadline": "Hibs boss Neil Lennon’s best quotes from season 2017/18","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526494635000 ,"articleLead": "

Back in March last year, Neil Lennon raised a few eyebrows when he stated that the club’s aim on return to the Ladbrokes Premiership was to finish “best of the rest”.

It is the bullishness you expect of such an engaging and opinionated character, especially one with such steadfast belief in his ability and that of his team.

Throughout the season, the Hibs boss has continued to provide headlines, insight and amusement with his dealings with the media.

Here are some of his best quotes from the season ...

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Efe Ambrose got on the wrong side of the Northern Irishman in pre-season:

“I can’t get a hold of him at all. He was given a wee bit of time off, but I think he is pushing the boundaries at the minute. The sooner he is back, for his sake, the better. I expected him back a lot sooner than this and it will be getting discussed behind closed doors. He’s got that to look forward to when he gets back!”

On Kyle Lafferty reneging on his word that he would talk to Hibs about a transfer:

“Lafferty does not have to apologise to Hibs or me, but agent Keith Gillespie and his partner did not come to Edinburgh for a day out, they came to agree business.”

Lennon had a warning for clubs interested in John McGinn:

“It’s going to take a huge bid from any club to take John away from us, £4-5 million. He’s still got a bit to do but already he is a quality player. He’s a Scottish international.”

Lennon enjoyed himself during the 3-2 win at Ibrox, infuritating Rangers fans in the process:

“I am celebrating a goal. What way are you supposed to celebrate a goal? If I pick my nose someone will find something to criticise me for, I am celebrating a goal.”

He shot back at a statement released by Club 1872, Rangers’ second-largest shareholders:

“Why it was front page news? There is so much more going on in Scotland and around the world and there I find myself on the front page on Monday for celebrating a goal. It is disproportionate.”

Lennon also had words for then-Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha:

“So, other than kiss his feet, how much respect does he want me to give him?”

The Hibs boss appeared at the Fringe in an interveiw with former First Minister Alex Salmond:

“Dealing with the English press is like swimming with dolphins and dealing the Scottish press is like swimming with sharks.”

On losing 3-1 to Hamilton in August:

“I’m not going to over-analyse it. We had a brilliant start to the season but now I don’t want people thinking this is the old Hibs, going to Ibrox and winning and then losing to Hamilton.”

Lennon accused Nottingham Forest of trying to unsettle McGinn:

“Mark Warburton knows the Scottish market and John is under contract for two years. “(Maybe it was) to unsettle the player? Which doesn’t please me. Maybe Mark might see it differently.”

On signing a new deal at Easter Road:

“I hope the fans are as pleased as I am, I’m not too sure the players are! I’ve got a target that I want to make Hibs a big club, a big force in Scottish football.”

And he had strong words for those players after letting a two-goal lead slip at home to Motherwell:

“It’s a total lack of mental strength.”

Lennon returned to Celtic Park as an opposing manager for the first time in September:

“If we get beat, the [reception I’ll get] will mean nothing. I still have to go home and kick the cat and analyse what went wrong.”

On beating Hearts 1-0 at Easter Road in the first derby of the season in October:

“I think the scoreline flatters Hearts, I thought we were thoroughly dominant. I have been involved in a lot of derbies and that’s as good as any in terms of the performance and the feeling I have got out of it.”

And words on the Twitter spat involving midfielder Marvin Bartley and Hearts’ Ross Callachan:

“It’s unnecessary, whether it be banter or I don’t know if things were going on before or during the game. I don’t really advocate that sort of stuff.”

The Hibs boss asked for more protection for his players:

“No-one was more physical than myself, but I played within the rules of the game. If you are fouling three or four times in a game where is the yellow card?”

Lennon couldn’t hide his delight at centre-back Paul Hanlon winning a Scotland call-up:

“He’s quick, which is always a good asset. He reads the game well and he has prowess in the air. He doesn’t look a 6ft 4in Grant Hanley-type, but his timing in the air in both boxes has been excellent.”

As Hibs manager, Lennon is glad to be out of the Glasgow fishbowl:

“There’s certainly a far more relaxed atmosphere through here - it’s not as intense. There’s a good rivalry with Hearts but it’s a lot more sociable, I suppose. There’s a lot more humour to it – it’s not got the same darkness or sinister aspect that the Old Firm has.”

On being touted for the Northern Ireland job:

“I don’t like the feast or famine aspect to it.”

Lennon wants a team of Darren McGregors:

”He’s a really good type and he loves the club. If I had 11 Darren McGregors, my job would be stress free.”

Hamilton were on the receiving end of Lennon’s wrath after a 1-1 draw at the SuperSeal Stadium in November:

“There was one team trying to play football and the other team trying to kick the c**p out of the opposition. We got no protection at all. We are going to lose John McGinn, he will either go to England or end up in hospital. No protection for him whatsoever, it was caveman stuff.”

And he wasn’t happy with his players during their 4-1 loss at Aberdeen in December:

“We were so abject that Cowdenbeath would beat us today, comfortably.”

Lennon was left frustrated when officials failed to spot striker Oli Shaw’s strike going over the line during a 0-0 draw with Hearts:

“We talk about video assistant referees but we don’t have that. This was a huge game, live on television and it makes a mockery of the game sometimes.”

He was also frustrated with Hearts’ tactics in the December meeting:

“It was the same at Easter Road, we outplayed them but they kicked us off the park, and they were trying to do the same thing again.”

Hearts won the Scottish Cup fourth round clash between the sides in January with a scrappy goal which crept over the line:

“It was nice to see the linesman doing his job properly on that side ...”

It then started a back and forth between the managers after Hearts boss made comments about the “natural order” of the derby:

“It’s just a crock of c**p. It’s a pretty poor statement to make and I think it’s disrespectful to my club, my players and me. We have got two more games to come so we will see if the natural order is restored then.”

Levein’s said it was a good laugh. Lennon disagreed:

“I didn’t find it funny... so the gloves are off now.”

The Hibs boss was left exasperated by striker Anthony Stokes who left the club during the season:

“There is a line that I won’t tolerate, and Anthony had plenty of chances not to cross that line.”

Lennon compared Hibs’ 2-1 win at Ibrox to beating Barcelona with Celtic:

“That’s right up there for me in my managerial career, next to Barcelona under the circumstances with the injuries.”

On mental health in Scottish sport:

“It’s not a test of your masculinity, it’s a test of your health. So I’m very pleased that Scottish football are doing something positive about that.”

Lennon had strong words for officialdom after being sent to the stands during the 2-2 draw at Kilmarnock:

“It’s amateur, it’s Mickey Mouse stuff. It needs to get better, it’s not good enough.”

On his reaction to be being sent off at Rugby Park:

“My reaction to the sending-off was regrettable.”

Lennon dismissed Hearts after the 2-0 win at Easter Road:

“They are irrelevant to us now. We are looking up the table rather than what’s behind us.”

On life in the public eye:

“You become paranoid. You have to watch every thing that you do and that’s totally unfair, particularly with high-profile sports personalities.”

He hit back at Rangers regarding their statement criticising Hibs for cutting their ticket allocation for Easter Road:

“It was a bit crass really. They didn’t even get the day right, for a start.”

Lennon joked about the Tynecastle pitch ahead of this month’s derby:

“I’m delighted to see grass on it.”

And spoke of the Hearts-Hibs dynamic:

“We are the better team. We could lose tonight, but the league table tells you that we are 20 points clear. Twenty points. That is a chasm.”

His comments after the 2-1 derby defeat shocked everyone:

“I will reconsider my position now over the summer. Just in general, I have things to think about myself, my own aims and ambitions, my own personal reasons but I cannot watch that in a derby – it’s not good enough.”

He responded to his comments:

“I think my comments have put unnecessary scrutiny and analysis on the board and that’s not fair. There’s no split or animosity or anything like that. I’ve had great backing from the board all season. I’m sure I’ll continue to do so.”

Lennon stood by his celebration towards the Rangers fan after Hibs equalised to make it 5-5 on Sunday:

“They are singing sectarian songs at me. It’s just a little bit of ‘have some of that’. It was worth it. Trust me.”

And he had a word for his players:

“They should be very proud of themselves – the fans are and I am.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740588.1526553792!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740588.1526553792!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740588.1526553792!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5785046975001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/australian-fa-deny-rumours-regarding-jamie-maclaren-s-world-cup-axe-1-4740249","id":"1.4740249","articleHeadline": "Australian FA deny rumours regarding Jamie Maclaren’s World Cup axe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526470148000 ,"articleLead": "

The Australian FA have insisted that commercial interests played no part in their final World Cup squad after Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren was controversially axed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740247.1526490739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Future out of my hands says Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren

The forward netted eight goals in 15 games after joining Neil Lennon’s side on loan in January from German club Darmstadt, including a hat-trick in the recent 5-5 draw with Rangers at Easter Road.

Despite his sparkling form he wasn’t included in coach Bert van Marwijk’s 26-man preliminary squad.

One of the attackers included instead was Tim Cahill. With 50 goals for his nation, the former Everton man is the country’s record goalscorer. However, he failed to find the back of the net in any of the ten games while playing for Millwall in the second half of the 2017/18 English Championship season and, at 38, he is well into the twilight years of his career.

At the same time the squad was announced, Cahill was unveiled as the face of a Caltex advertising campaign in the run up to the tournament.

The company will change the name of five petrol stations in major Australian cities to ‘Cahilltex’ throughout May and June.

This led supporters to question whether Aussie football chiefs had put commercial interests ahead of football and insisted that Cahill be included in the squad.

When asked about it at a Caltex promotional event, Football Federation Australia chief David Gallop said: “Absolutely not. Have a look at Tim Cahill’s track record. He’s a guy who has produced for the Socceroos and Australia so many times.

“He’s going to Turkey, he’s got a few weeks of intense training and he’ll be right up there (for final selection).”

Van Marwijk will trim his squad from 26 for the required 23 before the start of this year’s tournament in Russia.

READ MORE - Neil Lennon facing four-match ban after Hibs boss charged for celebration

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740247.1526490739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740247.1526490739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740247.1526490739!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5755615420001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/dundee-united-wish-to-re-sign-striker-simon-murray-from-hibs-reports-1-4740228","id":"1.4740228","articleHeadline": "Dundee United wish to re-sign striker Simon Murray from Hibs - reports","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526469367000 ,"articleLead": "

Dundee United are looking to re-sign their former striker Simon Murray - despite him playing the second half of this past season at rivals Dundee.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740226.1526470040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

READ MORE - Future out of my hands says Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren

Murray left Tannadice last summer after agreeing a pre-contract move with Hibs prior to the conclusion of United’s failed play-off campaign.

After a quick start to life at Easter Road, including seven goals in the group stages of the Betfred Cup, he fell out of favour in January and was shipped out to Dundee in the three-way loan deal which saw Scott Allan come back to Easter Road and goalkeeper Scott Bain move to Celtic.

Murray grew up as a supporter of Dundee but spurned their advances in order to sign with United in January 2015.

Csaba Laszlo will be hoping he does likewise this summer if Hibs are willing to negotiate the player’s transfer.

The Dundee Evening Telegraph are reporting that the ex-Jambos boss has identified Murray as the man he wants to spearhead the United attack next season as they aim to secure promotion back to the Premiership at the third attempt.

READ MORE - Neil Lennon facing four-match ban after Hibs boss charged for celebration

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PETER WALES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4740226.1526470040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4740226.1526470040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs striker Simon Murray. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4740226.1526470040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"5755615420001"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/paul-hanlon-hibs-players-will-eventually-realise-their-strong-season-1-4739696","id":"1.4739696","articleHeadline": "Paul Hanlon: Hibs players will eventually realise their strong season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1526448606000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul Hanlon admits the over-riding emotion as the curtain came down on Hibs’ season was one of bitter disappointment as he and his team-mates realised just how close they’d come to claiming second place in the Premiership table.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4739694.1526393204!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Paul Hanlon"} ,"articleBody": "

It would have been a remarkable achievement for a club back in the top flight of Scottish football after a three-year absence and one which Neil Lennon’s players came so, so close to taking.

But, insisted the Easter Road defender, that initial sense of failure having ended up fourth, will, over the coming weeks, give way to a realisation that they had, in fact, enjoyed a pretty good season.

The Capital club wrapped up their campaign with a memorable 5-5 draw against Rangers, a result which, at least, gave them the consolation of having amassed the greatest points total of any Hibs side.

Expectations of finishing runners-up to Celtic were heightened by a 2-1 win over the champions in the first post-split match and moved higher again as that victory was followed by a win over Kilmarnock and then a draw away to Aberdeen.

However, defeat at Tynecastle in the final Edinburgh derby saw the storm clouds gather, Lennon briefly questioning his own future as attention turned on those players who’d be leaving.

It was a knee-jerk reaction but Hanlon, now in his testimonial year, was adamant this summer will be little different to any other – at Easter Road and countless other grounds.

“It was a bit crazy,” he said. “At the end of the day you never want to lose a derby, so we were all hurt by that and then, obviously the manage thinking about his position cast a bit of doubt over the future.

“Had we lost that first game to Celtic we’d have had Killie right behind us and would have been happy with fourth. But we beat Celtic, kept our run going.

“We gave ourselves a great chance and at the moment we’re thinking what a great chance we had, there was no doubt about it.

“We had every chance, it’s disappointing now, but in a few weeks time we’ll say it’s been a good season.”

Hanlon expects to see a few new faces about when Lennon’s squad return for pre-season training in mid-June, but said: “It’s a fact of life in football. How many times have Hibs been through this situation having star players who’ve been sold on for big money or have left at the end of their contracts.

“But it isn’t just at Hibs, it happens to every club. It won’t be the first time the board have had to deal with this situation.”

Adamant next season’s aim has to be to better than fourth place, Hanlon acknowledged rivals will also be looking to strengthen over the coming weeks, saying: “Teams will be spending money, Rangers spent a lot this year.

“We just have to concentrate on ourselves. I’m sure the board will push it as far as they can. However, you can talk about spending money all you want, but it has to be quality.

“We didn’t spend a lot to get John McGinn, Dylan McGeouch, Fraser Fyvie, boys like that, so it’s about spending money but spending it wisely and getting the right people in.

“We’ve shown this year we can more than match all the teams in this league. On our day we’ve been great to watch and it’s been a joy to be playing.

“I think we can look back and say we have played some entertaining football, we’ve ground out some really important results as well and shown a bit of everything and it’s great to be part of the team that’s won the highest points total.”

While the summer will be filled with renewed speculation over the future of McGinn as the Scotland midfielder moves into the final year of his contract, Lennon has confirmed McGeouch is definitely leaving but, revealed Hanlon, he will do so with the best wishes from those he is leaving behind.

He said: “Dylan was a bit emotional after Sunday’s game. He went out onto the pitch by himself before the lap of honour and came back in a bit emotional. That shows how close we are, that there is that connection between us and the fans that boys are bitterly disappointed to leave.

“But if Dylan has good offers and the chance to progress his career then you can’t deny him that. What he has given the club has been magnificent, he’s a great player, a joy to play with.

“He’s had his tough times, had to battle through injures but he has shown how strong he is as a character to come through that, the season he has had has been incredible.”

Regardless of who comes and goes, Hanlon is convinced Hibs will continue to build on the renewed sense of optimism which has enveloped Easter Road as evidenced by average home gates in excess of 18,000.

He said: “Go back a few years to relegation when we were maybe scrambling to get 10,000 through the door. Everything was on a downer, but the way that has changed has been incredible. The feelgood factor has kept building as has the momentum and we are looking forward to the new season and keeping it going.”

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