Hibs today announced a link-up with ambitious non-league club Spartans, aimed at producing some of the best young footballers in the country.
The two Capital clubs have reached an agreement whereby some of the top young players in Edinburgh and the Lothians will be nurtured through a jointly-run transition academy at both Ainslie Park and East Mains.
The Hibernian and Spartans Transition Academy will initially focus on the development of the most promising eight to 11 year olds identified by coaches from the two clubs within a joint set-up. The two clubs aim to extend the arrangement, administered by a joint board, as the youngsters grow older.
They intend to use a structured and consistent approach at coach and director levels in order to develop the young players to the highest standard possible, with the ultimate aim for Hibs being that the cream of the crop will find their way into their first team.
New chief executive Leeann Dempster has played a prominent part in structuring the transition academy, along with new head of academy operations George Craig. “This collaboration will see both clubs benefit from working together to provide a player development pathway which will be unrivalled in Scottish football.
“This agreement opens the door to further collaboration between the two clubs across a raft of activity in the future. We see great potential benefits for both clubs.”
Spartans chairman Craig Graham said his club had been keen to link up with an SPFL club. “We were keen to align to the SFA’s strategy for regional academies for the very best young players and this partnership does just that,” he said.