Hibs ballboy-turned-striker Ethan Laidlaw signs first professional deal
Another Hibs Academy graduate has signed his first professional deal with the Easter Road side.
Ethan Laidlaw has been with the club since he was ten and spent time as a ballboy for the Capital club as a youngster.
The 16-year-old striker is the eighth player from the Hibs youth ranks to sign a professional contract this season, following in the footsteps of Murray Aiken, Jacob Blaney, Jack Brydon, Robbie Hamilton, Murray Johnson, Josh O’Connor, and Connor Young.
Speaking to Hibs' official website Laidlaw said: “It’s a great day for me and the family. I’ve been a big Hibs fan all my life, so it feels like a great achievement to be able to call myself a professional footballer.
“I’ve also been a ballboy since our first season in the Championship and there have been some memorable games along the way – like the 5-5 draw with Rangers and the Edinburgh Derbies.
“When you see all the fans celebrating and singing ‘Sunshine on Leith’ at the end, it gives you goosebumps.”
Hailed as an “agile, quick, and skilful attacking player”, Laidlaw is likely to be sent out on loan later in his career to gain vital experience in the professional game.
Easter Road Sporting Director Graeme Mathie laid out the pathway for young Hibs players hoping to break into the club’s first team.
Mathie said: “We are delighted to see Ethan signing a professional contract.
“He’s the first 2005-born player we have in the Academy who has signed a contract and follows many the 2004 age group who have been at the club from a young age.
“Ethan signing is a credit to all the staff who have worked with him throughout his time at Hibernian, the ongoing support from his family, and his willingness to work hard to improve.
“We were able to show Ethan a clear pathway of how we might be able to move between our Under-18s to our first team – likely involving our strategic partnership with Stenhousemuir – and we hope he can be the next young player to move from the terraces to the pitch at Easter Road in the coming years.”