'No decision' on future of Hibs stalwarts - but they're still needed now
Veteran defenders remain valued squad members, says gaffer
There have been “no conversations” with Lewis Stevenson and Paul Hanlon about extending their lengthy Hibs playing careers beyond the end of the season, according to head coach Nick Montgomery.
But Monty isn’t about to call time on the stalwarts just yet – and says he’ll continue to use both defenders when needed.
Stevenson, who turns 36 next month, and 33-year-old Hanlon are both out of contract in the summer.
“There have been no conversations with any players regarding next season,” said Montgomery.
“Lewis and Paul have been fantastic servants for the club and stalwarts.
“They are ultimate professionals, they have both started games this season and been on the bench, the same as most players.
“I have no issues with anyone in the squad and no decisions will be made until the club is in a position to make them. It’s not something we have even discussed.
“You need a good balance of youth and experience - and I think we have that in the squad at the minute.
“It’s always valuable to have experienced players in the dressing room and starting, off the bench, or whatever it may be. That’s part of the squad dynamic.
“To be successful you definitely need a balance.”
Club captain Hanlon has been vying for playing time with Rocky Bushiri on the left side of central defence, while Stevenson – the only man in history to have won both the Scottish Cup and League Cup with Hibs – is in direct competition with Jordan Obita for the left back spot.
Praising both veterans for their attitude and commitment in a season when they’ve switched between starting games and making substitute appearances, Montgomery said: “It’s testament to them that they’ve been here for such a long time, through some ups and downs as well.
“They know exactly what the club is about and what is expected - and it’s always good to have people like that who have the club at heart."