Hibs kid Scott Smith today set his sights on forcing his way into boss Pat Fenlon’s first-team plans after agreeing a new one-year deal with the Easter Road club.
The 20-year-old has already made his debut in a green-and-white shirt, impressing as a substitute during last season’s 5-0 hammering of Berwick Rangers in the Scottish Communities League Cup before being immediately farmed out on loan to Brechin City.
But now he has returned determined to catch Fenlon’s eye as the Irishman sets about rebuilding his squad following two bitterly disappointing seasons in which Hibs finished tenth and then 11th in the SPL table.
Part of the Under-19 side which clinched the league and cup double in his first season at Easter Road – when he was very much the “baby” of the team at only 16, the young left-back said: “I’m delighted to have signed another contract and I’m looking forward to the new season.
“My mindset will be the same as it is every year, working as hard as I can. Hopefully then I can catch the manager’s eye and if I get presented with the opportunity I can take it with both hands. It’s a challenge I’m excited about. Last season was a step-up. I learned a lot from going out on loan to Brechin and playing regular first-team football. It was definitely beneficial.”
A former captain of the Under-19s, Smith recalled his only first team outing to date, saying: “I just remember coming on at half-time with the team 2-0 up. It was a brilliant feeling and I hit the bar with a right-footed shot, I thought it was in.
“Overall, it was a special experience and once you get a taste of what it’s like playing in front of the Easter Road crowd you want to do it again on a regular basis. That’s what I’ll be working towards during the coming season.”
And Fenlon, who continues to seek further new signings following the arrival of Motherwell’s Tim Clancy, revealed he has high hopes for the home-grown youngster. He said: “Scott has been in and around the first team for a year now and he has got a fantastic attitude and wants to succeed.
“He fits in with the type of player we want at the club moving forward.”