Keeper Smith ready if Hibs chance arises

GRAEME SMITH today insisted that he'll be ready to grab his chance with both hands if Colin Calderwood gives him the nod between the sticks in the coming weeks.

The Hibs goalkeeper has made just one appearance for the first team this season, in the Europa League qualifier against Maribor back in August.

He has spent much of this campaign watching from the sidelines as Mark Brown has made the gloves his own under both John Hughes and new boss Calderwood.

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Smith, however, stressed that he won't allow his lack of involvement frustrate him and will instead channel his energies into working hard in training to catch the manager's eye.

Smith said: "At the start of the season the old manager went with Mark Brown and when the new manager came in he stuck with him as well, as you might expect.

"From a personal point of view I just have to make sure that every training session or bounce match that I am involved in, I make sure that I show what I can do and give the manager something to think about before he selects his team for the next game.

"The opportunity hasn't come along for me as yet this season but I believe that I have kept myself as fit as I possibly can and when the chance does happen, then I will be ready to take it.

"I'm happy with the way that things have been going, I am working with a good goalkeeping coach and keeping myself fit, so I just need to keep working hard and see what happens now."

While Smith has not been involved with the first team in the league this season, he admits that all the recent call-offs have been frustrating for every member of the Hibs squad.

However, the Easter Road goalkeeper conceded that the decisions to postpone games because of the weather have proved to be the correct ones.

More wintry weather is forecast to blanket Scotland again over the next few days and he continued: "As a squad of boys you are as frustrated as the fans when there's no game but I think that the decisions in the last couple of weeks have been all about safety for people travelling to matches.

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"I think everyone would probably agree that they've been the right decisions and the call-offs, although not ideal for us, have been down to common sense more than anything else."