Game on! Hibs get green light for St Mirren friendly

Teams due to meet at East Mains on Saturday

Hibs midfielder Scott Allan holds off St Mirren winger Ilkay Durmus during the last meeting between the two teams at Easter Roa in February
Hibs midfielder Scott Allan holds off St Mirren winger Ilkay Durmus during the last meeting between the two teams at Easter Roa in February

Hibs have been given the go-ahead for a closed-doors friendly against St Mirren at the Hibernian Training Centre on Saturday.

Scottish Premiership clubs have already been given the all-clear to resume contact training but were anxiously awaiting permission to set up matches, with the start of the new season less than a month away.

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That green light came on Thursday after the latest easing of coronavirus restrictions was announced by the Scottish Government.

The St Mirren squad will travel to East Mains in cars to ensure social distancing and will have to undergo further health and safety measures once they arrive at the Ormiston complex.

The match will be played strictly behind closed doors, with no supporters permitted to attend.

Speaking earlier this week, Saints manager Jim Goodwin acknowledged it would be odd facing league rivals in a friendly game but was hopeful both teams would get permission to play the fixture.

He added: “The players have only got four weekends to go before the start of the season and we need to get at least three half-decent competitive friendlies by that point.

“It’ll be strange playing against teams from our own league but that’s the position we’re in. It will be a good test against Hibs if we get the go ahead."

As well as the Capital club hosting the Buddies, Rangers and Hamilton are due to meet on Friday for a similar bounce game while Celtic - who are currently at a training camp at Loughborough University ahead of travelling to a pre-season tournament in France - could also be in action on Saturday.

In other friendly matches this weekend, Aberdeen are due to meet Ross County, Motherwell will take on Dundee United and Kilmarnock are set to play Livingston as preparations for the new season are stepped up following the latest guidance around lockdown easing issued by the Scottish Government.

It is understood Hibs are monitoring developments with regards test events, which have also been given the go-ahead by politicians.

The Scottish Rugby Union and Celtic are believed to be keen to join forces to stage bio secure trials ahead of the new season with a view to allowing a small number of fans back into stadiums.

With no set date for supporters to return to stadiums, Hibs are offering fans the chance to buy cardboard cut-outs to be placed in the East Stand at Easter Road for home games.

Hibs host Kilmarnock in the first game of the 2020/21 Scottish Premiership season on Saturday 1 August.

Scottish football has been on hiatus since 13 March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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