Hibs to compete in new tournament involving teams from England and Scotland

Hibs are one of four Scottish clubs who have signed up for a cross-border competition after opting not to enter a team into the SPFL Reserve League.

Tuesday, 17th September 2019, 10:39 am
Josh Doig will almost certainly feature for Hibs in the tournament

Lee Makel's development side are joined by Aberdeen, Celtic and Rangers - who also snubbed the second-string competition - while Brentford and Huddersfield Town will also enter teams into the tournament.

The competition will see all six clubs involved playing each other home and away, before the top two sides play out a final to determine an overall winner. Hibs' trip to the Hummel Training Centre to face Rangers last week was the first fixture of the tournament which is understood to be called the International Cup. The Capital club won 5-4 on penalties after the match ended in a 2-2 draw.

Teams field Under-21 or development teams but are allowed three overage outfield players and one overage 'keeper - which could see Hibs goalkeeping coach Alan Combe feature.

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There could be a chance for youngsters Jay Cantley and Jayden Fairley to get further game time having featured against Tranent Juniors last month.

Hibs have already come up against a Terriers development side, winning 2-1 at the club's East Mains training complex in May.

The four clubs were among eight teams to withdraw from the Reserve League after claiming it wasn't beneficial to their young players' development.

Speaking during the summer, Hibs' Head of Football Operations George Craig said: “If we wish to constantly improve standards across the board then it stands to reason that we have to constantly re-evaluate what we do, and there are some concerns about the Reserve League set-up as it is.

“We want to keep providing our young players with games that will ask different questions of them and accelerate and enhance their development.

"That desire is what has led us to, regrettably, take a step away from the Reserve League for next season.”

Rangers' Head of Academy Craig Mulholland added: "[In reserve football] you are not getting experienced players to come and teach young players. The variables in the [SPFL Reserve League] was such that one week you were winning comfortably, the next week was a challenge. It's not right for developing our players."

• Hibs host Hamilton Accies in the SPFL Reserve Cup on Monday September 23, kick-off 2pm