Highly-rated Hibs youngster heads out on emergency loan and impresses on senior debut at age of 17

Highly-rated Hibs goalkeeper Murray Johnson joined Airdrieonians on an emergency loan on Saturday and played a starring role as the Diamonds got their League One campaign off to a winning start at Peterhead.

The 17-year-old made his senior debut for Rhys McCabe’s side, stepping in between the sticks with Josh Rae – who appeared for Hibs’ B team in a Challenge Cup game in 2019 – nursing a shoulder injury and veteran shot-stopper David Hutton named on the bench.

Johnson, who was part of the title-winning Hibs under-18 squad last season kept a clean sheet in his first professional appearance and was called into action as early as the 11th minute, getting down well to smother an effort from Peterhead attacker Conor O’Keefe, and performing well throughout the 90 minutes.

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Defender Craig Watson told DiamondsTV after the game: "From a defensive point of view we were delighted to keep a clean sheet and we had a young goalie in who I thought was absolutely fantastic.

"Everything he did; his talking from the back, his organising, was really impressive to see from such a young lad."

Johnson has already been involved with Scotland under-19s and has attracted interest from the English Premier League. Speaking last month David Marshall described the teen as a ‘good, natural goalkeeper’ for whom Hibs have high hopes.

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Johnson also travelled with the first-team squad to Portugal for the club’s pre-season training camp in the Algarve.

It remains to be seen if he will be involved this coming weekend when the Diamonds host Falkirk but the shot-stopper, who is also an accomplished cricketer, looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

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Murray Johnson takes part in the pre-match warm-up ahead of Hibs' pre-season friendly against Hartlepool United