It was a great team effort from Hibs on Sunday. Despite this, it was Neil Lennon’s youngsters who received the bulk of the praise.
Hibs recorded back-to-back victories for the first time since October, with a fine 2-0 victory over Celtic at Easter Road. It must be infuriating for Lennon, despite the victory, as Hibs have not been performing to this level all season.
Speaking to the BBC after the match, Lennon commented on the performances of youngsters Oli Shaw, Sean Mackie and Ryan Porteous. The trio are Hibs academy graduates and performed well against Celtic on Sunday.
“Oli’s had a poor start to the season but he’s bounced back really well the last two or three weeks where his contribution’s been immense, Lennon told BBC Radio Scotland’s Sportsound. “I was delighted with him today.
“Ryan’s been outstanding. Very consistent this season. And we had Sean Mackie on in the second so we’ve got three academy players out there playing against the champions and it didn’t phase them. It’s a remarkableperformance under the circumstances. I’m very, very proud of the team.”
Experienced pros are helping the youngsters
Mackie, Porteous and Shaw all performed exceptionally well against the champions. They have been promising players throughout the season for Hibs and there is a reason for that.
The youngsters are surrounded by experienced pros and players who have hit great heights in their career. Mackie, for one, is learning his trade from Martin Boyle. The winger recently earned his first cap for Australia, so he is a perfect role model for a young player like Mackie.
Porteous is usually alongside Efe Ambrose at the back. While a comical character to most, Ambrose has been a solid option for Hibs. Lining Porteous up alongside an experience pro who has won international tournaments, and played in big European ties against Barcelona, is brilliant for the Hibs academy graduate.
Players like Mark Milligan and Adam Bogdan have played at a high level, so they can share their wisdom with the young talent at the club. It presents a unique opportunity to listen to advice from players who have played for big clubs like Liverpool and Feyenoord.
There has not been a period where Hibs have had so many former and current internationals. Mackie, Porteous and Shaw will thrive in the same environment as these players. Being alongside stars who have played everywhere from the Premier League to the J League can only aid their development.