Latest career landmark proves Lewis Stevenson still has value to Hibs, says Paul Hanlon
Paul Hanlon knows as well as anyone just how important Lewis Stevenson has been to Hibs over the years. And he believes that his value to the team has not depreciated, despite his age and the undoubted potential of those trying to oust him.
The 33-year-old left-back will make his 500th appearance for the Easter Road club should he feature against Celtic in Glasgow tomorrow night and the man who has started alongside him in 309 of those games, believes he is still an asset to the club and hopes his stay will be extended beyond the summer, when his current contract expires.
“When I first came in at 16 years-old, he was a couple of years older and he was the first one to welcome me in and look after the younger boys,” said Hanlon. “He has always been someone I’ve looked up to. He has been great to work with throughout the years. Most of his career he has been a left back and I’ve been at centre half so we’ve had to work together quite a lot.
“His record speaks for itself, really, in terms of what he has done for this club and the trophies he’s won. There’s no-one that matches him and that says it’s all really.”
Sentiment alone cannot justify a new deal but given his success rate in surviving the uncertainty bourne of so many managerial changes in his time at the club and his history of thriving under the pressure exerted by challengers to his status as a regular starter, Hanlon says there is more than enough to justify a prolonged stay.
“That’s happened so many times in his Hibs career and he’s kept working hard and stayed in the team. That’s why he is going to get to such an amazing landmark in his career. He knows himself, he’s getting a bit older and there are younger players coming through. But, I think he’s got plenty left in his legs to be able to perform for another few years yet, regularly, and he will be helping the young boys to kick on as well.”
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