Time to give 'four or five' Hibs kids a proper chance, says Garry O'Connor

Former Hibs striker Garry O’Connor has called for the Easter Road youngsters to be given a chance in the first team, as he hailed the club’s ‘fantastic academy’.
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The 39-year-old came through the club’s youth system himself, making his senior debut at the age of 18, and scored 58 goals in 166 games before a lucrative move to Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow and spells with Birmingham City and Barnsley before he returned to the capital in 2011 and hit 16 goals in 40 games.

Son Josh impressed in last year’s title-winning under-18s and leads the line in the club’s UEFA Youth League matches, but has just eight minutes of first-team action under his belt as a late substitute in a defeat at Pittodrie against Aberdeen last season – and O’Connor senior wants to see more kids getting gametime.

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"I think Lee Johnson has brought in too many new players, I’d have maybe looked at the ones already here,” he said. “January is just around the corner and you need to see what happens then, but hopefully a few of the young boys do get a chance – I know Murray Aiken has been in the squad recently but not got on the pitch.

Several of the Hibs under-19 squad have either made their senior debut or been involved on match day.Several of the Hibs under-19 squad have either made their senior debut or been involved on match day.
Several of the Hibs under-19 squad have either made their senior debut or been involved on match day.

"Hibs do have a fantastic academy and for me, there are definitely four or five ready to make the step up. At the moment, no disrespect to Lee and his staff, but when you look at the run of form Hibs are on, I'd be tempted to put a couple of young boys on the bench and bed them in – ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there,” O’Connor added.