Edinburgh City are an ambitious League Two outfit. Still semi-professional, the two-time Lowland League winners are the capital’s third members of the SPFL beside Premiership outfits Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian. So why can’t the capital clubs help one another out?

Ties in the dugout

Throughout Edinburgh City, there’s Hearts and Hibs links all over. City’s Sporting Director is former Jambos manager Jim Jefferies, most notable for guiding Hearts to their first Scottish Cup in 42 years following the 1998 victory where they defeated Rangers 2-1 in the final.

Jim Jefferies played for the Jambos between 1967 and 1981 before two spells as manager in 1995-2000 and 2010-11. Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele /Allsport

Current City gaffer James McDonaugh was a former Head of Academy Coaching at Hibernian.

Links on the park

Current players also have links to the top two capital clubs. Three of Saturday’s back four which kept a clean sheet against Peterhead in their top of the table stalemate are former Jambos in the shape of Craig Thomson, Conrad Balatoni and Liam Henderson.

Edinburgh City hosted Hamilton Academical at Meadowbank Stadium before its redevelopment in the Betfred Cup a few years ago. The team currently play at Spartans’ home – Ainslie Park. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

Midfielders Danny Handling and Andrew Black are both former Hibs. Danny Galbraith is a former Hearts youth before signing for Hibs from Manchester United, who he left the Jambos for. And current loanee Adam Watson was at Hibs prior to Livingston, who he’s on loan at City from.

Why an affiliation makes sense

Breaking in at any first team is hard for a young player. However both Edinburgh clubs are happy to give young players a chance. You need only look at some of the players Hearts and, probably more so, Hibs have produced in recent seasons.

Breaking in at either of the Old Firm takes some doing but it’s perhaps easier in Edinburgh due to less expectations. That’s not to say that no winning expectations exist. On merit, Hearts and Hibs are two of the biggest clubs in the country and are great platforms for footballing super-stardom.

Ryan Porteous turns away in celebration after netting his team’s injury-time winner at Gayfield Park as Arbroath hosted City. They won the match 1-0 to edge closer to securing their place in SPFL League 2 after promotion from the Lowland League the previous season. (Photo by Colin McPherson/Corbis via Getty Images)

One Hibee that recently blossomed on loan across the capital is Ryan Porteous. Aware of the pros a loan spell could bring, he spent the 2016-17 season on loan at City as they finished seventh in League Two. Now a key cog in the Hibs defence, it just goes to show what regular first-team football can bring.

Raw talent should be given the chance to express themselves at a lower level before running out at Tynecastle or Easter Road. City want to reach the top and with both Hearts’ and Hibs’ help, their young players may well get them there one day.

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