Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out.
Here, we provide some insight on the exciting prospects at Hibernian FC.
One of the Hibees stand-out youngsters is Edinburgh-born Ryan Porteous. With the build and maturity of a season-professional, it is scarcely believable that the center-back is just 18 years of age.
Porteous has already gained a reputation as a tough-tackling throwback of a defender, who is more than capable of playing out from the back, and has already three times for Neil Lennon’s side in this season’s Betfred Cup, scoring a brace against Arbroath in the group stages.
Porteous, who hails from Dalkeith, enjoyed a fruitful spell at League Two outfit Edinburgh City last season, featuring on 24 occasions and scoring three goals as he helped The Citizens to secure their SPFL safety. His goal against Annan Athletic helped City to secure their first ever victory in the SPFL.
The young defender could easily have struggled against experienced strikers at just 17 years old, but he was a standout in Gary Jardine’s side, with the manager hailing his leadership abilities, composure on the ball and maturity.
A Scotland Under 19 international, Porteous appears to be in good hands, working as an understudy to experienced defenders such as Efe Ambrose and Paul Hanlon. The lifelong Hibs fan looks destined to have a bright future ahead of him.
Another Hibs youngster making an impact in the first team is Porteous’ teammate Fraser Murray, who hails from along the M8.
At just 16 years of age, Murray made his Hibernian debut in a Challenge Cup tie against Turriff United, opening the scoring in a 3-0 win for the Hibees.
He had to wait until April for his next first-team appearance and League debut for Neil Lennon’s side against Raith Rovers, and this debut was even better. Murray was the star of the show as he pulled the strings in midfield and was unlucky not to find his name on the scoresheet, also picking up the man-of-the-match award as a bonus.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News after the match, manager Neil Lennon was full of praise for Murray: “To make a debut like that at 17, it augurs well. I’m not going to get carried away but we know we’ve got a good player there and he showed all his qualities.”
The Glasgow-born teenager possesses a quality which is both difficult to find in football and extremely valuable; goals from midfield, scoring twice in Hibernian’s Betfred Cup group stage with goals against Alloa Athletic and Montrose. In just 8 games for the first team he already has an impressive three goals under his belt. With this form, it will be difficult to leave him out of the side.