Hibs international issue blamed on Brexit

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A former Hibs star has made a Brexit claim about his old side

Former Hibs star Tam McManus believes Brexit is the reason there is such a lack of international motivation in the current squad at Easter Road. In the recent international break, several Hibs stars featured in games across the world, with the likes of Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller shining for Australia but there was a distinct lack of Leith-based talent featuring in Steve Clarke’s squad that faced Georgia and Norway. 

McManus, who made over 100 league appearances for the Hibees, has argued that since Brexit, English clubs are seeking out the rising talent from north of the border rather than looking to the continent as they used to do only a few years ago. 

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Writing for his column with the Daily Record, McManus argued: “Not having a single player at Hibs pushing for a place in Steve Clarke 's squad is more than just a sign of the times, it's also another huge negative for our game because of Brexit. What we are seeing now is all of the good young Scottish players heading to big clubs down south and that's before they even getting into their first teams at the likes of Hearts, Hibs, Motherwell and Aberdeen.

The 42-year-old, who made 14 youth appearances for Scotland, continued by saying: “Brexit is now in play as English teams are now scouring our game rather than focusing on Europe in the way they used to. 

“There are so many of our youngsters being snapped up early and gone are the days when they would play around 100 first team games in the Premiership or Championship and then land their big move.

“That makes it so much harder for clubs like Hibs to get any of their players into the international side, if you look across the squad then it tells that story of the talent pull being predominantly plying their trade in England.”

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McManus then went on to detail the arguably bizarre option to start the Premier League's Jacob Brown over Hearts’ Lawrence Shankland in Scotland’s last Euros qualifying fixture. 

“It was a strange one to see Jacob Brown start on Sunday against Norway given the fact he's not scored for Luton Town since August, yet Lawrence Shankland only managed a late cameo despite banging in goals right, left and centre in the Premiership for Hearts.

“Is it because Clarke thinks Brown is operating every week at a far higher level?”, McManus questioned.“It's another prime example of how difficult it is for Scottish players at provincial clubs to get the nod. You now need to get a big move to get into this Scotland team. 

“It's a sad fact that nobody at Hibs is even in with a sniff of the current squad and with six months remaining before the Euro Finals in Germany, it's unlikely to change.

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“(David)Marshall is there but now retired and I'm sure he'll be telling the young players about the need to work as hard as possible to put their hands up.”

Marshall, 38, has 47 international caps for Scotland in a career that spanned from 2004 until his international retirement in 2021 and McManus writes that only one other now ex-Hibee has broken through on the international stage while at Easter Road. 

“A lot can happen in that time, injuries or someone hitting a rich vein of form but it's doubtful. Ryan Porteous is the only academy product who's managed to gain a senior cap while at Hibs and that highlights the dearth over the last few decades”

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