Hibs kid Ryan Porteous believes the hugely differing experiences of his team-mates makes Easter Road second to none for an ambitious young centre-back to make his mark.
At 18, Porteous is already part of Neil Lennon’s first-team squad, his early-season performances having prompted a change of heart from the boss of the Capital club, who had thought of sending him out on loan, with Championship side Dumbarton believing he was heading their way. He does, however, face huge competition for a place in Lennon’s back-line with the hugely-experienced Darren McGregor, Paul Hanlon, Efe Ambrose and Liam Fontaine ahead of him in the pecking order although he has climbed that particular ladder in recent weeks with both McGregor and Fontaine having undergone operations.
But if he hasn’t enjoyed as much game time as last season – when he combined playing for League Two side Edinburgh City and Hibs’ Under-20 side – Porteous insisted training every day under Lennon and his assistant Garry Parker and alongside his team-mates has been of huge benefit. He said: “Each of them (Hibs’ defenders) is a role model to me – they’ve all done it in a different way. Darren went from Cowdenbeath back into the juniors and then on to St Mirren, Rangers and then here. Paul is a one-man club and has played more than 300 games. Efe is a Nigerian internationalist who has played at the World Cup and in the Champions League with Celtic and Fonts has bags of experience from his time down south. I’m lucky I can pick and choose what I want to learn from each of them. They’ve had different experiences in their careers but each is totally professional and there’s no better place to learn the game.”