Influx of young talent gives Monty hope for Hibs future

Nectar Triantis - still just 20 - was one of three Deadline Day signings.Nectar Triantis - still just 20 - was one of three Deadline Day signings.
Nectar Triantis - still just 20 - was one of three Deadline Day signings. | SNS Group
Gaffer backs his Magnificent Seven to propel team up table

Hibs boss Nick Montgomery has backed his seven January signings to make an immediate impact. And he said replacing veterans with young players was a deliberate aim, as he looked to completely overhaul the age profile of the squad inherited from lee Johnson.

Hibs finished up with a much-changed squad at close of play last night, with the Deadline Day additions of Nectar Triantis, Owen Bevan and Eliezer Mayenda making it a busy transfer window. Emiliano Marcondes, Myziane Maolida, Luke Amos and Nathan Moriah-Welsh had already come on board.

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With outgoings – including established first-teamers Christian Doidge and Jimmy Jeggo - in all departments, Montgomery has presided over a revamp in defence, midfield and attack, the Yorkshireman saying: “That’s seven in and seven out. And I think the seven who have come in are really going to contribute between now and the end of the season.”

With central defenders Triantis and Bevan both just 20, Montgomery moved to allay concerns over a lack of experience, pointing out: “When you talk about young players, Rory Whittaker is young, he’s 16. If you are saying 20-year-old players are young, I don’t agree with that. They’re young-ish but they’re professionals.

“Nectar has played a lot of first team games, and he’s won a championship with me in Australia. Will Fish is 20 but has played a lot of games now at this level. Owen Bevan comes in after a loan spell in a difficult league in England.

“I don’t really believe age is an issue. I believe in young players. Initially, when you do your research, I think we had probably the oldest squad in the league. That was spoken about, reducing the age of the squad. I did that really quickly by playing 16 and 17-year-olds like Rory, Josh Landers, Rudi Molotnikov, Kanayo Megwa and all these players from the academy.

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“They’ve had exposure and there is now interest from clubs in taking them out on loan. That’s something we’ll speak about over the next couple of weeks.”

Maolida, Marcondes, Bevan, Triantis and Mayenda have all been signed on loans, while Luke Amos was a free agent, and Moriah-Walsh has signed on a two-and-a-half-year deal. The mix of arrangements and agreements is, according to Montgomery, a reflection of the real world pressures on a club working to a budget.

“The reality is we don’t get a Myziane or a Marcondes, we can’t attract players of that calibre on permanent transfers, unfortunately,” he said, adding: “They’ve only had a couple of training sessions so it’s not going to happen overnight. But I’m confident in the quality of the players I’ve brought in, they’re coming into a good culture – and they’ve played in big games, delivered in big moments. And they’ve got a point to prove.

“I understand that everyone wants instant success. But I also understand how to build a team. I think this window has given me a real opportunity, having come in after pre-season, with the team at the bottom of the league."

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