Paul Hanlon is set to return to action after coming through the full 90 minutes as Hibs Under-20s defeated Dunfermline last night.
The 24-year-old has missed the Easter Road club’s last four matches – the Championship defeats by Hearts, Falkirk and Alloa as well as the dramatic League Cup win over Dumbarton – after suffering an injury to the knee which required surgery at the end of last season.
Head coach Alan Stubbs, however, was quick to allay fears it was a recurrence of that problem which saw Hanlon sit out the final ten games of last season, insisting the new injury was entirely unrelated.
Hanlon, who is now in line to return against Cowdenbeath a week on Saturday, was joined in the victory at East End Park by Southampton striker Jake Sinclair. the 19-year-old having signed for Hibs on loan for the season just 24 hours earlier. The Easter Road kids bouncing back from a 4-0 defeat by Aberdeen on the opening day of their season with a deflected goal from Callum Booth’s free-kick.
Academy coaching manager Eddie May, temporarily in charge of the team, said: “I think it was a vast improvement from the Aberdeen game. I thought the boys were fully committed, put in 100 per cent and if anybody had seen the game then they will say we should have won by a few more goals.”
Meanwhile, Wales internationalist Owain Tudur Jones was today poised to join Championship rivals Falkirk after the remainder of his Hibs contract was terminated by “mutual consent”. Signed by Pat Fenlon last summer, the midfielder made only 19 appearances for the Capital club as he found himself playing under three different managers.
• Hibs will celebrate Easter Road legend Pat Stanton’s 70th birthday at the Cowdenbeath match by making 7000 tickets available to season ticket holders, allowing them to bring a friend to the game for nothing.
A programme will be produced celebrating the contribution made by Stanton who was captain when Hibs won the League Cup in 1972 and in the 7-0 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on New Year’s Day 1973.