Jim Brown hails FC Edinburgh's tie-up with Hibs as he speaks on Friday night games, Meadowbank move, and League One test

It is a partnership that has been several years in the making, but FC Edinburgh chairman Jim Brown is excited by the prospect of a formalised link with Capital neighbours Hibs.
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The two teams will be closer than ever when the Citizens finally return home to Meadowbank this summer but their close ties can be traced back to the 2016/17 season, when a young Ryan Porteous spent time on loan with the then SPFL newcomers.

Since then a stream of Hibs kids have honed their skills across the city with Lewis Allan, Sean Mackie, Josh Campbell and, most recently, Jack Brydon among those to have made temporary switches.

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Brydon will be heading back to FC Edinburgh having helped them win promotion to League One and, thanks to the new tie-up, may not be the last

"The partnership is a win-win situation and one of the things Hibs realised – which a lot of other clubs don't – is the benefit of sending young players to us,” Brown said at the launch of the partnership.

"Sometimes when players go on loan they might be sitting on a bench but with us they're playing and getting that experience.”

It is gearing up to be a big season for Alan Maybury’s team, who will be competing in the third tier of Scottish football for the first time.

FC Edinburgh chairman Jim Brown, left, with Hibs CEO Ben KensellFC Edinburgh chairman Jim Brown, left, with Hibs CEO Ben Kensell
FC Edinburgh chairman Jim Brown, left, with Hibs CEO Ben Kensell
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"The owner is putting a lot of investment in so we can at the very least consolidate our place in the division,” Brown said.

"We don't want to be the whipping boys and hopefully the signings we've made, such as Liam Fontaine and Kieran MacDonald, and another couple still to come in, will help.

"When the fixtures came out we were going through them: Dunfermline, Falkirk, Queen of the South... none of them are easy!

"It's brilliant for us to do it. It's hard – we're all volunteers apart from the players so it's a massive jump.

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"We need to try to build off the pitch so we can bring in the revenue to sustain and do what we want to do. We don't want to stay in League One, we want to grow from there."

FC Edinburgh chiefs are keen to get the green light for standing on one side at Meadowbank for the start of the league campaign, with a second stand still to be built.

"That would give us a capacity of just under 1,300 for our first league game,” Brown explained. "At the moment there's just the 500-seater stand.

"We tried [Friday night games] last year and thought long and hard about keeping it going but one of the things we want to do at Meadowbank at bigger games is have a fanzone.

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"A lot of people come with their family because they feel it's a more comfortable environment with young kids. To do that on a Friday night would defeat the purpose because kids wouldn't be getting home until 10pm.

"We could have brought in corporate and done very well on Friday nights but where we want to go as a community club, Saturdays make sense.

"A lot of our supporters preferred Saturdays too. We listened to what they said – hopefully we can make it a family event on the day so it's not just 90 minutes of football.”

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