Hibs’ young players have been urged to make the most of training every day alongside the Easter Road outfit’s army of internationalists.
Martin Boyle won his first cap in Australia’s friendly with South Korea at the weekend taking the number of full internationalists in Neil Lennon’s squad to an unprecedented 14 spanning 11 different countries. And that, insisted Eddie May, head of academy coaching at the Capital club, presents youngsters with an unique opportunity to listen and learn from players who have not only represented countries ranging from Australia to Holland and Nigeria to the United States, but have played for clubs such as Juventus, Liverpool, Feyenoord and Panathinaikos.
Admitting he couldn’t recall so many full internationalists at Easter Road at the one time, former Hibs midfielder May believes his academy players can enjoy a huge benefit by embracing the experience those players bring and the different football environments they’ve enjoyed in their careers such as veteran Aussie captain Mark Milligan, who has also played in China, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
May said: “The first team is in a good groove in terms of standard and achieving things. Last season was fantastic, they’d won the Championship, the Scottish Cup but we want to move that forward and, if the young lads want to be part of it, they have to reach a really high standard, a higher standard than before.
“There are a lot of international players here now, they should learn from them, take little bits off all of them. We’ve had players come in from really big clubs, really high levels. Our youngsters can only benefit from that and you want them to be intelligent and ambitious enough to grasp that but then do the hard bit on the park which is what we prepare them for. If they are playing well enough they will play in the first team, the manager has always said that.”