ALAN STUBBS has promised his Easter Road kids they’ll be given their chance after watching Conner Duthie become the third teenager to make a first-team debut in the past three months.
The 18-year-old followed in the footsteps of Lewis Allan – now on loan with Dunfermline – and Scott Martin as he stepped off the bench to replace Danny Handling for the final four minutes of Hibs’ 3-0 win over Dumbarton.
And he completed a dream weekend by scoring twice as the Capital outfit’s Under-20 side claimed a place in the semi-finals of the SFA Youth Cup with victory against Queen’s Park the following day.
Today Stubbs, who is a regular spectator along with coaches Andy Holden and John Doolan, when Joe McBride’s young team are in action, revealed Duthie is unlikely to be the last to be given a taste of first-team action this season.
The head coach said: “Conner has done really well recently. I’ve been impressed by a few of them in the under-20s, to be honest, and, if they do well and I am in the position to do so, then I will reward them.
“It could easily have been two or three of them who could have been in the squad at the weekend, that’s the carrot dangling for all of them. If they do well, not just in one game, but consistently over a period of time then they will have the opportunity of maybe getting in and around the first team.”
Stubbs, however, warned Duthie to keep his feet on the ground. He said: “The effort the players had put in made it easier for me to give Conner those few minutes which will hopefully give him that bit of confidence. But, if he gets carried away, he won’t be close again. He has to keep doing it.”
Duthie and his young team-mates will be in action again tonight when they face Kilmarnock at Ainslie Park in an SPFL Development match, kick-off 7.15pm.