Hibs kid Ryan Porteous needed no encouragement to sign a deal committing himself to the club for the next five years.
The 19-year-old has become a regular member of Neil Lennon’s first-team squad this season and his performances were rewarded by the offer of a contract until 2023, a time period in which he believes he can take his budding career on to a new level.
“I was really wanting to get it done as soon as it was offered to me,” revealed the Scotland Under-21 defender. “I don’t think there is a better place in Scotland to develop as a young player, especially as a young centre half. There’s arguably the best centre-halves in Scotland here and the best pros in my eyes.
“It’s great, the coaching staff have really helped me kick on and hopefully this long-term deal will help me kick on even more. The platform is here to make a young player the best they can be so I needed no encouragement to sign the deal.”
As a Hibs fan Porteous admitted he found everything “a bit surreal” as he began to train with the first-team squad, but now he heas established his credentials, he knows he is fighting for his place alongside the likes of Efe Ambrose, Paul Hanlon and Darren McGregor.
He said: “You have to put that aside and try to show what you can do, that you are not just trying to fit in but to be a standout. I hope I have done that over the past few weeks and months and got more games under my belt.
“Now I’m trying to get more regular game time and hope to stand out in those games. But you need to get results as well, at the end of the day it’s a results-based environment and if you are winning games you are doing well.”
Porteous sat out the weekend defeat as he nursed a knock picked up while on international duty, but he admitted he is eyeing Hibs’ upcoming schedule with relish, starting with next week’s derby against table-topping Hearts at Tynecastle.
He said: “They are massive games but there are no small games, they are all games we want to win but the league is so competitive.
“The derby is the big one, the one the fans want to win the most. It will be a tough one but hopefully we can go there and win and for me I’m hoping I can go on to get a first-team start every week.”
Porteous was joined in signing a contract extension by his fellow teenager Fraser Murray. The 19-year-old has been hampered by injury, but is now back playing for the development side and aiming to add to his so far limited first-team appearances.
Porteous and Murray are mentored by two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray after signing up to his agency, 77 Sports Management, earlier this year and the tennis ace believes the pair will go on to carve out “great careers” in football.
He said: “Ryan and Fraser have come up through the academy at Hibs and I know everyone at the club thinks very highly of them.
“It’s great to be involved in helping them both realise their potential, I’m convinced both will go on to have great careers.”