By: Hibernian Media on 16 Sep, 2019 19:54
Development Squad defender Josh Doig will join up with the Scotland Under-18 squad on Saturday for their friendly tournament in Turkey.
It will be the first time the 17-year-old has represented his country at any level and he can’t wait to test himself in a group that contains Angola, Cameroon and Paraguay.
It caps a fine start to the season for Josh, who is already benefiting from his decision to join Hibernian in the summer.
Already he’s enjoyed a taste of first-team action in pre-season and he trains with Paul Heckingbottom’s senior side regularly.
Hibs TV caught up with Josh and you can watch the full interview here.
Josh, it’s your first involvement with Scotland at any age level. You must be proud?
It’s a massive thing for me and my family and I’m really looking forward to it. The hard work has paid off in terms of getting into the squad but now I have to stay there.
We take it you’re no different to any other young player who grows up dreaming of playing for Scotland?
Growing up that was always the goal so when I saw the squad list come out with my name on it I was buzzing.
You’re in a group with Angola, Cameroon and Paraguay, who will have their own style of play. Will it do your development good to be out of your comfort zone like that?
They’ll have different types of players from what I’m used to and it’ll be a different type of game. So that will add to the experiences I’ve had so far. It’s just like when I moved to Hibs. I’m looking forward to meeting the rest of the boys and getting comfortable within the group. I need to get used to the way the manager wants to play and hopefully I’ll get a game over there.
It’s a reflection of how well you’ve done since joining Hibernian in the summer. How do you look back on your first few months at Easter Road?
It’s been brilliant. I’ve enjoyed it, ever since I’ve come in, and I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds. The staff and the other players have helped kick me on. It’s paying off. I think I’ve improved as a player and a person. I’ve got to know the boys and I’ve had the chance to meet a lot of good people. As a player I feel I’ve improved physically and that they’ve nurtured that side of my game. I did the right thing coming here.
Having already played and trained regularly with the first team, the move must have exceeded your expectations already?
It’s been brilliant. It was a great experience to play with the first team and the older players are great in terms of talking to you and helping you through the games. You benefit from their experience. Lewis Stevenson has been a great help in terms of telling me little extra things that I can do to help my game. Steven Whittaker also helps with the Under-18s squad and he’s always giving me pointers.
Lewis and Steven are two players who have been over the course. What type of advice have they passed on?
They always tell me to work my hardest, whether it’s in games or training, and they help with my positioning. I put maximum effort into everything I do. When you watch Lewis, he’s the same. He’s You watch him in the gym or in anything else that he does and he always puts in 100 per cent. That’s something I need to do.
What’s been the highlight so far?
I’d have to say coming on in the friendly against Newcastle, even though I got about 20 seconds at the end of the game and didn’t touch the ball! It was good to get on the pitch with all those big names – a great experience. It’s something I’ll never forget.
What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
I want to keep playing for the Development Squad week in, week out and hopefully get as many first team minutes as I can. I want to keep training with them, get my head down and work hard.
We stepped away from the SPFL Reserve League this season to participate in our own games programme. How have you found that so far?
It’s been different, in terms of the physical or technical levels you come up against. Some teams are fast and direct, whereas others test you physically. It’s a good challenge week to week.
It’s Edinburgh Derby week and we’re told you’ve got some way to go to match up to your Dad’s efforts against Hearts?
My Dad scored against Hearts and Craig Gordon when he was playing for Gala Fairydean. He was a striker or a flying winger whereas I’m a bit bigger. I’ve got a bit to do to match that but hopefully I’ll get there soon!