Jamie McAllister opens up on son Reuben joining him at Hibs and gives positive Kyle Magennis update

When Jamie McAllister was appointed assistant manager of Hibs to Lee Johnson in the summer, he was not expecting his son to follow him to Edinburgh.
Hibs assistant manager Jamie McAllister has been joined by his son Reuben at Hibs.Hibs assistant manager Jamie McAllister has been joined by his son Reuben at Hibs.
Hibs assistant manager Jamie McAllister has been joined by his son Reuben at Hibs.

A highly-regarded member of the Bristol City youth academy, 16-year-old Reuben McAllister was making waves down south, part of the club’s under-23 set-up and catching the eye of a number of English Premier League clubs, as well as current cinch Premiership champions Celtic.

However, Johnson wanted to take McAllister Jnr north to Hibs, believing that in a couple of seasons, he will be a regular in the Easter Road first team. Hibs paid a low six-figure fee to secure his services.

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It means there is a chance father and son can bump into each other at the workplace, but while Jamie has little to do with Reuben’s professional development at present due to the teenager being in the youth academy, the former Sunderland coach admits it is a little surreal to have him in Scotland with him.

“Mixed emotions, if I’m honest!" McAllister replied about how he felt when it emerged that Hibs were strongly interested in his son.

“He was pretty much ready to sign a three-year deal at Bristol City then the gaffer put it to me he wanted to sign him.

“It took him two or three weeks to make the decision, it was tough. Myself and my wife just said weigh up the pros and cons of staying at Bristol City, weigh up the pros and cons of coming to Hibs.

“It’s on you. We couldn’t decide it for him, because in a year or two time he could some and say: ‘Dad, you told me to do this’ if it wasn’t the right one.

“He’s 16-years-old now so it was up to him to make the decision. He said he wanted a fresh challenge and he was excited by the opportunity.

“They gave him his programme and the gaffer sold it to him, it was nothing to do with me.

“It was strange. I’m probably his hardest critic.”

McAllister Snr knows that there is a different dynamic for Reuben at the club compared to other youngsters, given that his father is part of the senior coaching team.

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“I told him that’s a pressure he has to deal with because right away everyone will say nepotism, everyone thinks he is here because I am,” continued McAllister. “He has to cope with that.

“It’s tough, it’s different. I was at Bristol City when he was there but I was only coach and he was there from 8 to 16.

“It’s different now he’s closer to the first team and the gaffer signed him. It’s an interesting one!”

McAllister took the place of manager Johnson this week to perform Hibs pre-match media duties and confirmed that Lewis Stevenson and Elias Melkersen are likely to be involved on Saturday against St Mirren. He also revealed that Kyle Magennis is back training with the team.

“It has been tough for Kyle, he has worked so hard,” added McAllister. “He and Nissy [Kevin Nisbet] have been doing double, even triple sessions at times.

“So for him to join in today with a little passing drill was brilliant.

“But he’s still a bit away and we need to be careful with him, we don’t want to rush him back.

“When you see him on the grass, he is all action and you think he’s ready. But we have got to be gentle with him and bring him back slowly so he doesn’t break down again.”