Ryan Shanley eager to feature against Rangers as Hibs boss Jack Ross hails youngster's contribution

19-year-old made his senior debut in Paisley
Ryan Shanley made his Hibs debut during the 3-0 win at St MirrenRyan Shanley made his Hibs debut during the 3-0 win at St Mirren
Ryan Shanley made his Hibs debut during the 3-0 win at St Mirren

Hibs striker Ryan Shanley has admitted he is desperate to be involved against Rangers after making his senior debut against St Mirren.

The 19-year-old impressed during his short time on the pitch after replacing Martin Boyle for the last few minutes at the Simple Digital Arena and is now keen to build on his first taste of Scottish Premiership action when the Ibrox side visit Easter Road on Sunday September 20.

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Shanley said: “I’d love to be involved against Rangers next week. It was an amazing feeling making my debut, especially for the club I support. It was amazing; a dream come true.

“I knew I had to kick on in pre-season training if I wanted to make my debut this season, so I’ve just been working really hard. It’s been really good [being involved].

Hibs head coach Jack Ross explained that the youngster had earned his place in the senior squad after initially joining the first-team group during the summer.

Ross told Hibs TV: "Ryan was involved in the squad on merit as he's been impressive since pre-season.

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"We took him out for a couple of weeks then brought him back in amongst the group for this period."

The youngster, who had loan spells with Lowland League side Civil Service Strollers and League One club Forfar Athletic last term, had a half-chance in the dying seconds but opted to lay it off to fellow attacker Christian Doidge rather than seek glory for himself, but his manager was just happy to see him get involved during his time on the pitch.

Ross said: “I really like him; I think he's got attributes that could give him a bright future.

"He's got a lot to learn as well but I was keen to try to get him on the pitch against St Mirren, and it was a big moment for him.

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"He's a Hibs fan, his family are Hibs fans, and I can sometimes get a little bit blasé about it in management with these guys, at that age, what it means to them.

"A brilliant day for him, and I'm delighted that he made a contribution on the pitch as well and showed people what he can bring.”

Shanley was one of five academy graduates on the pitch at the final whistle along with Josh Doig, Jamie Gullan, Paul Hanlon, and Ryan Porteous, and the Easter Road boss was pleased to have so much homegrown talent on display.

Since the start of the season no fewer than ten players who have progressed through the Capital club’s ranks have been involved on match days.

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As well as the quintet who featured against St Mirren, long-serving defender Lewis Stevenson, goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski, midfielder Fraser Murray, and utility man Ben Stirling have all got game time or at the very least been named in matchday squads while 15-year-old goalkeeper Murray Johnson has taken part in pre-match warm-ups with his fellow shot-stoppers.

Ross continued: “It was nice to have so many of our academy players on the pitch at the end of the game.

"It was a good day for us; one of those days where we should not think too far ahead and just stand still and enjoy it."

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