In a new series of articles, YFS will be taking a closer look at some of the bright young talents coming out of the SPFL this season. Hot Prospect #1 is a defender who has already crossed Edinburgh's biggest divide after being released by one of the countries biggest academies. Owen McCarrey finds out more.
Hibernian defender Josh Doig is being tipped as a player for the future after the 18-year-old made his full competitive debut on the opening weekend of the SPFL season in a 2-1 Kilmarnock.
The debutants performance was highly praised by Hibs boss Jack Ross, who described Doig’s performance as “brilliant”.
In recent years Scottish football clubs have been known for producing a high calibre of youth players from their respective youth academies, from Andrew Robertson of Queens Park, to Kieran Tierney of Celtic, and Billy Gilmour from Rangers, to name a few.
Doig signed for Hibernian in the summer of 2019, having previously played for Edinburgh rivals Heart of Midlothian where he featured in their youth academy system. Initially kept on for an extra season in John Rankin's under-18s - where he would have played alongside Aaron Hickey and co - he was released at the end of the 2018-19 season.
In September 2019, the youngster was selected as part of the Scotland U18s squad and appeared in a 2-1 win over Paraguay for the Scots.
Doig’s impressive performances in training and games, as well as a stunning growth spurt, were then rewarded in February 2020, as the defender signed a new contract with the club keeping him there until the summer of 2023.
Shortly after putting pen to paper on his new deal, Doig was loaned out to Scottish League Two side Queens Park – who also produced Scotland left-back Barry Douglas - for the remainder of the season in order to gain the experience needed of playing regular first-team football.
During his short spells at the Spiders, Queens Park boss Ray McKinnon compared Doig’s style of play similar to that of Liverpool left-back and former Queens player, Andy Robertson.
“He was up and down, he was brilliant, and everybody was making comparisons with Andy Robertson”, McKinnon said, when speaking to Edinburgh Evening Newspaper in July.
After returning from Queens Park, Doig had a number of impressive moments in Hibs’ pre-season fixtures, most notably a scoring stunning volley against Scottish champions, Celtic at Parkhead.
He was then awarded his competitive debut for Hibs in the centre of defence in a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock on August 1st, leaving experienced Hibees defender Lewis Stevenson on the substitute bench.
Now, gaffer Jack Ross has called on Josh Doig to “seize his opportunity” ahead of Hibs upcoming league fixtures. They face Livingston on Saturday before travelling to Dundee United through the week, where Doig could come up against another promising youngster – Lewis Neilson.