Team-mates and manager share delight for Hibs' league debutant Stevie Bradley

Hib's Stevie Bradley, making his league debut, bursts beyond Hamilton's Scott McMann. Photo by Rob Casey / SNS GroupHib's Stevie Bradley, making his league debut, bursts beyond Hamilton's Scott McMann. Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group
Hib's Stevie Bradley, making his league debut, bursts beyond Hamilton's Scott McMann. Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group
It is an indication of how highly regarded Stevie Bradley is at Hibs that when he tweeted his delight at making his league debut for the club, in the convincing 4-0 victory over Hamilton, a raft of first team regulars were quick to respond with a mix of compliments, encouragement and, the expected dressing room banter.

One can only imagine how his feed would have blown up had he netted his 85th minute effort.

Just two minutes after replacing the effervescent Martin Boyle, the 18 year old showed plenty of sparkle himself, sending a Christian Doidge lay-off goalwards. But, unfortunately for him, he was denied by Accies keeper Ryan Fulton, who tipped his effort onto the bar.

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But, he showed enough belief and ability in his cameo appearance to suggest there is much more to come from him this term, especially as the Leith side negotiate an extremely busy turn of the year.

“He's got a really good chance. He's very comfortable in possession, and playing on that [right] side of the pitch, on his left foot, suits him," said manager Jack Ross of the youngster the club signed from Queens Park in July 2019.

“He's got an opportunity through circumstance, and he has made a couple of League Cup appearances, but it was great for him to make his league debut. He's one we're really excited about, he's got the potential to be really good.”

Making the most of all the resources, young, old and everything in between, as they seek to maintain their momentum throughout a congested December and January, will be key.

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Against Hamilton, with the match well and truly won, Ross made four substitutions, choosing to conserve the energy of some and offer others match time, as he looked ahead to Tuesday’s Betfred Cup quarter final away to Alloa, and beyond.

“We know we're in the midst of a busy schedule, but there are also players like Stevie Mallan who are unlucky not to be on the pitch.”

The midfielder was sent on for Drey Wright part way through the second half as Ross shuffled his pack. “It's unusual to be able to [rest so many and give others a run out] but that's where the five subs helps.”

Kevin Niset had been the first player replaced but that was about protecting him rather than casting aspersions on a performance that contributed hugely and in more ways than just the side’s fourth goal.

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Deployed in a slightly deeper role, in behind his usual strike partner Doidge, he impressed his manager yet again.

“We played him in a different position, we played him slightly deeper and sometimes it suits him a bit. I'm pleased he got his goal because he was struggling a bit with a knock at half-time.

“I've said before that he'll be judged on goals because he's a striker but his all-round game is why we were so desperate to bring him to the club. He's a very good all-round player and he's having an excellent season so far.”

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