Former Hibs star admits Josh Doig decision benefited his career

Josh Doig's sliding doors moment saw him turn down the chance to star for St Johnstone - but Callum Booth is just relieved it opened up the chance for him to lift the Scottish Cup.
St Johnstone defender Callum Booth will line up against former club Hibs in Saturday's Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNSSt Johnstone defender Callum Booth will line up against former club Hibs in Saturday's Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS
St Johnstone defender Callum Booth will line up against former club Hibs in Saturday's Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS

Hibernian ace Doig has been named the Scottish Football Writers' Association young player of the year after his stunning breakthrough campaign.

But it is only two years since the teenage left-back was released by Hearts after being deemed surplus to requirements at Tynecastle.

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That bitter blow was softened when Doig was offered the chance to train with both St Johnstone and Dunfermline with a view to a quick-fire return to the professional ranks.

In the end, the 19-year-old eventually opted to take up an invitation to sign for Hibs - and he has not looked back since, with a string of top English clubs now watching his progress with interest.

But Doig's decision to knock back Saints has now turned the handle on Booth's chances of landing another medal, as the Betfred Cup winners look to double up in Saturday's Scottish Cup final against the Easter Road men.

The 29-year-old defender has had a turbulent time since leaving Partick Thistle in 2018. He saw a move to Dundee United cut short after just a year while a switch to Bury also fell through after the Shakers' financial implosion saw them booted out of the EFL.

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He is now enjoying a dream campaign with Callum Davidson's team and has recently established himself as the first option at left wing-back, displacing Scott Tanser who is in his third season at McDiarmid Park. He was particularly impressive in the semi-final victory over St Mirren as he continually charged forward on the overlap.

Booth, though, admits he may never have got his chance had his opposite number at Hibs decided his future lay in Perth instead of the other half of the Edinburgh divide.

"I didn't know Josh was in at St Johnstone," said Booth, who started his own career out at Hibs. "It's maybe a good thing he didn't sign for Saints - I might not be here.

"He's a really good player, a powerful boy and still only 19, so he's got a lot of development to go.

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"Speaking to a couple of boys at Hibs I'm still good friends with, he seems a really level-headed boy off the pitch.

"So it's good to see him progressing so well. Hopefully he has a good career - after Saturday!

"It's been a bit of a roller coaster couple of years, especially these past few months since Christmas, which have been unbelievable.

"You don't really have too much time to think about it when you're in the moment. You just try to enjoy the moment and I really have as St Johnstone is a great club.

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"But I'd never have thought I'd be sitting here going for a cup double a couple of years ago.

"It's a great position to be in. We just need to get the job done now."

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