There was more progress for the Hibs academy on Sunday as 16-year-old Ethan Laidlaw made his first senior squad, fresh off the back of a trial with Leeds United.
The teenage striker recently spent a week training with Leeds United after early promise at Easter Road. He signed his first professional contract with Jack Ross’ side this season and has trained regularly with them.
🙌 Huge congratulations to 16-year-old striker Ethan Laidlaw who is in today's matchday squad.
💚 The Hibernian Academy graduate has gone from being a ballboy at games to signing his first professional contract earlier this year.
— Hibernian Football Club (@HibernianFC) April 11, 2021
He was named in the senior squad for the first time away to Rangers as Hibs lost 2-1, although still a fine day for the Leeds United target. Sporting director Graeme Mathie said back in February that Laidlaw was an exciting prospect.
He said: “We are delighted to see Ethan signing a professional contract. He’s the first 2005-born player we have in the Academy who has signed a contract and follows many the 2004 age group who have been at the club from a young age.
“We were able to show Ethan a clear pathway of how we might be able to move between our Under-18s to our first team – likely involving our strategic partnership with Stenhousemuir – and we hope he can be the next young player to move from the terraces to the pitch at Easter Road in the coming years.”
Mathie’s comments suggested then that Laidlaw will likely leave on loan at some stage to join Stenhousemuir, who Hibs have already sent several youngsters on loan to this season.
Laidlaw isn’t the only academy product to receive English interest this season, Josh Doig also tracked by Leeds United while the Hibees turned down a seven-figure bid from Millwall for Ryan Porteous.
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