Hibs field more homegrown players than any other UK club

Hibs are leading the UK in terms of game time for home grown players, according to new research.

The research, which covers 31 top flight leagues across Europe, shows that 30 per cent of minutes played by the Hibs squad are completed by “club-trained” players.

The CIES Football Observatory, based in Switzerland, states that a club-trained footballer is a player who has spent at least three seasons at the team between the ages of 15 and 21.

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Long-serving defensive duo Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson both progressed through the club’s Academy, while Steven Whittaker recently returned for a second spell at Easter Road after coming through the ranks as a teenager before stints at Rangers and Norwich City.

Steven Whittaker, Paul Hanlon, Ryan Porteous, Oli Shaw and Lewis Stevenson have all featured heavily for Hibs this season. Pictures: SNS Group

Teenage prospects and Scotland under-20 international pair Ryan Porteous and Oli Shaw have made seven and eight Ladbrokes Premiership appearances respectively.

Young striker Lewis Allan started in the 1-0 loss to Livingston earlier this season while Jamie Gullan made his first team debut earlier this season in the 6-0 win against Hamilton.

Kevin Dabrowski and Sean Mackie have been involved in matchday squads as substitutes while Fraser Murray could join them later this year.

In terms of the Scottish Premiership, Hamilton are in second with 26.59 per cent, and Celtic lie third with 25.59 per cent.

Hearts, who fielded several academy players last season but signed 18 new players during the summer, are currently in last place with just 2.43 per cent of minutes completed by homegrown stars.