Hibs starlet handed boost as he trains with first-team squad ahead of Rangers clash
Hibs youngster Jacob Blaney has taken a big step forward in his development at the Capital club by taking part in first-team training at East Mains ahead of Sunday’s trip to Ibrox to play Rangers in the first post-split match.
The 16-year-old can operate in central midfield or as a centre-back and was one of seven academy players to sign their first professional deal with the Easter Road side in January.
Already standing well over 6ft in height, Coatbridge-born Blaney has been capped twice by Scotland at Under-16 level and, having joined the Hibs Academy as a ten-year-old, has been representing the club’s under-18 side since he was just 14.
It remains to be seen if Blaney will travel with the squad on Sunday, as part of the team or for matchday experience as other young players have done in the past, or whether this was merely a taster of first-team training demands.
Head coach Jack Ross frequently invites younger players to train with the first team, with 18-year-old defender Josh Doig, 19-year-old winger Stevie Bradley, and 20-year-old forward Ryan Shanley all making their senior debuts this season.
Young striker Josh O’Connor, son of former Hibs favourite Garry, has trained with the first team in recent weeks while goalkeeper Murray Johnson was frequently involved in training and match days earlier this season.