Hibs today revealed Danny Handling has clinched a new four-year contract, tying the midfielder to the Easter Road club until the summer of 2018.
The 20-year-old, who has been with the Capital club since the age of ten, insisted he wants to celebrate the deal by helping Hibs win promotion back to the Scottish Premiership.
The player, from Haddington, became one of the youngest ever to pull on a Hibs shirt when he made his debut at the end of the 2010-11 season only three months after his 17th birthday, before a stunning period on loan at Berwick Rangers where he scored seven goals in as many games. Now a Scotland Under-21 internationalist, Handling has become the latest of Hibs’ promising young talents to pen a long-term deal, team-mates Jordon Forster, Sam Stanton, Alex Harris and Jason Cummings having all done so in recent months.
Handling, pictured, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have agreed a new contract with the club. It’s my local club and I’ve been here since I was ten, so to extend my stay for another four years immediately felt like the right decision for me to make.
“I’m really excited about the future here at Hibs and being part of helping the club to climb back into the Scottish Premiership.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with the new head coach – he has shown faith in me and hopefully I’ve repaid that with some decent performances.
“I want to continue to build on that and I believe he (Alan Stubbs) will develop me into becoming a better player.”
Meanwhile, Matty Kennedy has promised Hibs fans they have yet to see his best after the on-loan winger made a sparkling first start as Hibs suffered a second successive defeat, going down 1-0 to Falkirk despite creating 18 goal-scoring opportunities.
The Everton youngster said: “I’ve not had much game time and I was exhausted after 20 minutes. I’ll keep improving as the games come thick and fast. I’ve worked with the gaffer for three years and he just told me to do my stuff and be positive.”
And Stubbs, who was in charge of the Toffees’ Under-20 side before taking over at Hibs, also believes the former Kilmarnock kid will have the fans on their feet. He said: “I thought Matty was great, a real threat.
“Every time he got the ball it looked like something was going to happen. On one or two occasions his final ball should have been better. He knows the standards I expect of him because I know what he can do.”