Josh Doig 'did it all himself' admits modest Lewis Stevenson as Hibs defender seals Verona switch

Lewis Stevenson has congratulated Josh Doig on sealing a move to Italy with Verona – and insisted the youngster’s talent was clear to see from his first involvement with the Hibs first team.
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The 20-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Serie A club after two successful seasons as a senior player at Easter Road.

Speaking about his fellow full-back’s move to Italy, Stevenson said: “It’s nothing to do with me, he has done it all himself.

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"He has been brilliant to work with. I’ve given him little pointers here and there but he has done the hard work himself. I don't think I have seen a better natural athlete than him, and that stands him in good stead.”

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The Easter Road veteran also claimed the youngster’s performances flew under the radar last season during a difficult campaign for Hibs.

"I don't think he got the credit he deserved last year – I thought he had a better all-round season than the one before, it was just maybe not as eye-catching but he is a great boy and someone I would love to see go on and do well.

"We have all been saying that, although he has got this move, we genuinely feel he could go from there and kick on again.”

Lewis Stevenson, right, with Josh Doig ahead of a Premier Sports Cup match last seasonLewis Stevenson, right, with Josh Doig ahead of a Premier Sports Cup match last season
Lewis Stevenson, right, with Josh Doig ahead of a Premier Sports Cup match last season
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Stevenson has worked closely with Doig since he broke into the Capital club’s first team and has seen first-hand what the versatile defender is capable of.

"He has potential to go to the top level. He is 6’3’’, fast, strong. Even just looking at him with his top off… without meaning to sound creepy, he looks like Cristiano Ronaldo, that kind of physique.

"He just is an athlete and that’s half the battle nowadays. Everyone here wishes him all the best.”

Recalling his first involvement with the first team in a pre-season friendly, the Hibs stalwart recognised that the club had a gem on their hands from very early on.

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"He is still the same guy he was when he first came in at the age of 16 or 17 and trained with us a few times.

"I think his first game was a friendly down at Carlisle; I was injured and he came on and straightaway it was clear he had something about him and he kicked on from there.

"So maybe it is me that has got him there, maybe he will give me a percentage,” Stevenson joked.

"He is a top guy and I can't praise him highly enough.”

Stevenson might not have had the chance to explore opportunities overseas but insists he is delighted to see young Scots like Doig, Lewis Ferguson, and Aaron Hickey trying their luck on the continent, and has backed Doig to seize his Italian chance with both hands.

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"The older you get the more you think what could have been but I’m happy with the career I’ve had – I’ll leave Josh to learn Italian, fluent Leith is probably the best I’ll do,” he laughed.

"Aaron Hickey has probably opened up a lot of doors. If he hadn’t gone out there and done well then these other boys might not be getting these opportunities.

"Fair play to him for going out there and then kicking on. I don't see any reason why Josh can't do the same.”

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