Calderwood backing Sean Welsh to seize chance with Hibs

COLIN CALDERWOOD has insisted lifelong Hibs fan Sean Welsh deserves every chance to carve himself out a career at Easter Road.

And the Hibs boss has promised to give the midfield kid all the support he can to ensure his dream comes true after handing him a new one-year contract. Captain of Hibs Under-19 side which powered it's way to a League and Cup double, the 21-year-old suffered the heartache of breaking his foot only days before both trophies were clinched.

But having earned himself a first team contract Welsh, who endured a horrific double leg-break a number of years ago, was hit by a serious knee injury on the very first day of Hibs' pre-season tour of Holland last summer.

The Lochend boy, however, did enough during a loan spell with Stirling Albion in the second half of last season to persuade Calderwood to award him a new deal and now the Hibs boss is determined to do everything he can to help Welsh realise his potential by following former team-mates David Wotherspoon, Paul Hanlon and Callum Booth into the SPL.

Calderwood said: "I don't think Sean has had his chance yet, his progression has obviously been hampered by injuries. He looked as if he would be a huge potential early on. He did well while on loan at Stirling Albion, I watched him on numerous occasions and I liked what I saw. He is entitled and due the maximum opportunity to have a career here."

Meanwhile, Calderwood has been linked with a move for Brechin City's out-of-contract Rory McAllister after the striker knocked back the chance to sign for St Mirren. McAllister scored 51 goals in two seasons at Glebe Park and, according to his agent, has attracted attention from Hibs, Aberdeen and St Johnstone.

Hibs' opening game of the new season, at home to Celtic, has been put back to Sunday, July 24, with a 12.30pm kick-off to allow the match to be televised live.