Seven Hibs’ Academy graduates have taken a small but significant step in their careers after agreeing their first professional contracts.
Connor Young, Jack Brydon, Jacob Blaney, Josh O’Connor, Murray Aiken, Murray Johnson and Robbie Hamilton have all been rewarded for their progress at the Hibernian Training Centre.
Striker Connor Young joined the Academy setup at the age of 14 and has been in full-time since he turned 16 in August, after leaving Leith Academy.
A clinical finisher on either foot, he is currently benefiting from a loan spell with Civil Service Strollers and Hibs’ education partnership with Edinburgh Napier University.
Seventeen-year-old Jack Brydon a strong centre-back who is comfortable on the ball – has been at Hibs since he was 10.
He caught the eye in a two-week Under-18 training camp in Portugal prior to lockdown and is also enjoying a loan with Civil Service Strollers. In November he was named in the Lowland League Team of the Month.
He attended Firhill High School in Edinburgh and apparently fancies himself as a bit of a striker, having consistently impressed in shooting drills.
Coatbridge native Jacob Blaney attended the Scottish FA’s Performance School at Braidhurst High in Motherwell.
Equally adept in the centre of defence or the heart of midfield, he turned 16 in September and has represented his country in that age group.
He has been with Hibernian since the age of 10, has been playing Under-18 football with The Hibs since he was 14.
Sixteen-year-old striker Josh O’Connor is the son of former Hibs’ hero Garry.
Direct, quick and with an eye for goal, he has been on Hibs’ books since he was 10 and is another who has featured for the Under-18s since he was 14.
The former North Berwick High School pupil is currently sidelined with a knee injury but is making great progress and should be back in action soon.
He is also continuing his education as part of the club’s tie-up with Edinburgh Napier University.
A 16-year-old central midfielder from Peebles, Murray Aitken has also shown his versatility by impressing at right-back and centre-back on occasion.
Comfortable on the ball, the Peebles High School student is also blessed with excellent endurance levels and an ability to support the strikers with well-timed runs.
He has also been with Hibernian since the age of 10.
Sixteen-year-old goalkeeper Murray Johnson has been training with the first-team squad since July.
The former Boroughmuir High School student’s progress was reflected in a Scotland Under-17 call-up earlier this year, alongside Jacob Blaney.
Murray is another involved in the club’s partnership with Edinburgh Napier University, which lets him continue his education alongside his full-time football commitments.
Like former Hibs and Scotland goalkeeper Andy Goram, Murray is also said to be an accomplished cricketer.
Robbie Hamilton is another who has enjoyed exposure to first-team training, 16-year-old left-sided central midfielder Robbie is the son of former professional footballer Jim.
Comfortable in possession, an eye for goal has also seen him deployed up front.
He reads the game at a level beyond his years and is a calm character who has taken everything in his stride so far.