Brandon Barker looks to sign off from Hibs with derby win

Brandon Barker is relishing the capital derby atmosphere. Picture: SNS
Brandon Barker is relishing the capital derby atmosphere. Picture: SNS
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It was a derby clash he knew little about before heading north of the border but as Brandon Barker and his team-mates were serenaded by a rousing rendition of Sunshine on Leith in the wake of their 1-0 triumph over Hearts in October, he knew it was one he would never be able to forget.

The winger, on loan from Manchester City, has had a dream season in Edinburgh but says that game remains one of the highlights and as he signs off this week, he would love another victory over Hearts to send him back down the M6 happy and to hush some of the opposition fans who have given him some stick.

“My family and some friends came to the first one and they were just blown away with the atmosphere and stuff,” 
he said.

“Even I didn’t know it was that big. A few of the boys had said it before but when you are a part of it it’s fantastic.”

Since then, the reaction of Hibs and Hearts fans on the streets of the capital have reminded him on a fairly regular basis just how much it means and he has loved it.

“It’s been class, especially my first [derby]. That was unbelievable, one of my best experiences up here,” he added. “In the second game, I played about three minutes because I got injured. The third one I lost, which was gutting, conceding that late header. But you step on the pitch and, straight away, you feel the atmosphere. You know how much it means to the fans and the players.”

Having been denied by a refereeing decision in the first visit to Gorgie, Hibs were then bettered when they returned there on cup duty in January. But they got their revenge in the next meeting, in March.

“I was in the stand [injured] when we won 2-0 [in the last head to head] and although it was good, it was disappointing because I wanted to be a part of it, I wanted to hear Sunshine on Leith at the end.

“The atmosphere was great that night, as it has been at both grounds on derby day. It’s always better when the game is at night. The boys dominated that night and there was only one winner from the start. They won 2-0. That hasn’t been normal. There has normally been only one goal in it so it was great to have that cushion but I can’t see that this time, I think it’s going to be another close game.