Rudi Molotnikov not slowing down after making Hibs debut as he insists, 'I need to kick on now'
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The 17-year-old was a late replacement for another academy graduate in Josh Campbell during the 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa and although it confirmed their exit from the Europa Conference League and a heavy aggregate defeat, Molotnikov was delighted to make his senior bow for the team.
“Coming through the academy, it is always special to make your debut, but to make it in a European competition at Villa Park is even more special. It’s a mixture of nerves and excitement when you are warming up. You’re just hoping that you get the call to come on,” he told the club’s website.
"I was just thinking, ‘please say my name, please say my name’ and luckily the gaffer did and I was delighted to get on. Watching the fans at the end was amazing, they were brilliant all night; singing Sunshine on Leith and the Proclaimers before kick-off was great. It was a really special moment for me as a Hibs supporter too. My parents were crying happy tears when I saw them at the end so it was a great night for them as well.”
Molotnikov has also paid tribute to the players and staff at the club for ‘pushing him every single day’. The attacking midfielder was a regular in the under-18s team when he was still just 15 and has been training with the first team for a considerable amount of time as well as winning caps, and scoring goals, for Scotland’s youth teams.
“Everyone at the club has pushed me every single day; I played under-18s when I was only 15 and played up in the development squad last year so all these small things have really helped me get to where I am now. I need to kick on from here now and keep working hard.”
Molotnikov should feature for Scotland Under-19s in their friendly double-header in Hasselt this international break against Belgium and Czech Republic alongside Easter Road colleague Jacob MacIntyre after both moved up from the Under-17s following their involvement at the UEFA Euro 2023 finals in Hungary in May.