Hibs loan stars told to copy Booth

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Hibs kids David Crawford and Scott Smith were today urged to follow in the footsteps of Callum Booth after joining Second Division Brechin City on loan.

Booth was farmed out to the Glebe Park outfit for the first half of last season, returning to firmly establish himself as a regular in boss Colin Calderwood’s first-team plans.

While winger Crawford and defender Smith, captain of last season’s Under-19 side, impressed during pre-season and enjoyed some exposure at the top level, both were likely to remain on the fringes had they remained, limited to weekly “bounce” games at East Mains.

The 19-year-olds featured in Brechin’s win over Albion Rovers at the weekend and have now agreed to remain with Jim Weir’s side until January, giving them much-needed first-team experience.

Calderwood, who had already loaned out 18-year-old goalkeeper Calum Antell to East Stirling, said: “It’s a policy I’ve always used and it is a policy that has real benefits.

“We saw that with Callum Booth last year, the experience of extensive match action really brought him on. Also, when he came back into the first team he was ready for it and prepared for the intensity of it a lot better than if he had just been training and playing bounce games.

“We will pick and choose the right place for the boys and we’ll encourage them to go and perform on a Saturday.”

Calderwood, meanwhile, is highly unlikely to make any dramatic deadline-day swoops ahead of the transfer window closing at midnight, having declared himself content with the eight summer signings already made in Ivan Sproule, Garry O’Connor, Sean O’Hanlon, Junior Agogo, Isaiah Osbourne, Phil Airey – who is expected to return at the end of next month having gone back to his parent club Newcastle United to recuperate from a training ground injury – Richie Towell and Leigh Griffiths.