AR230422 0321

Darren McGregor Loving New Player/Coaching Role

Darren McGregor is enjoying every moment of his new player/coach role and believes that there is massive potential for some youngsters to strive towards the First Team in the coming months.

Darren made 188 appearances across seven seasons for Hibs and was part of the legendary 2016 Scottish Cup-winning team.

At the beginning of the 22/23 season, Darren took up a player/coach role with the Development Squad and has since been a part of the coaching staff for the U18s as well, where he has been working alongside Academy Director Steve Kean and U18 Head Coach, Gareth Evans.

Following the U18’s 3-1 win against Chesterfield on Monday evening, Darren caught up with hibernianfc.co.uk and gave us his thoughts on the wee Hibees performance.

“I said to the boys before the game that we had looked at the stats and over the last 11 games, including Development Squad games, we’ve scored 43 goals, conceded 6 and won 11 out of 11. It’s a testament to their hard work and their application.

“The first thing we say to them when they walk through the door is ‘attitude’ - it determines how far you go in the game. I think every single one of them has shown that regardless of the opposition.

"We’ve played various teams, from junior teams all the way up to the Arsenal U18 and every time their application has been tremendous, so I can’t ask for much more.”

Monday’s fixture looked to be a real test for the U18s with the Chesterfield side appearing much more physical, however, Hibs were able to dominate proceedings and goals from Jacob MacIntyre, Alfie Smith and Josh Landers helped them to victory.

Darren was impressed with their ability to adapt and overcome such tough opposition.

“It didn’t faze them; it shows that the lads can mix it up. Technically we were the better team, physically they had the edge, but it shows the mentality of the lads is to never take a backwards step.

“I’ve seen a massive upturn in Owen Hastie. In the way he applies himself and his appetite for the game. Jacob MacIntyre has also been unbelievable recently and that’s the standard.

"We say to the younger guys that this is the standard you have to hit. These guys are training with the Development Squad, and some of them are training with the First Team.

"Ultimately you could be in the first team in 12-18 months. The opportunity is there for them, and they’re taking it every game I’ve been involved with, they’ve been tremendous.”

Darren is now focused on passing on his extensive knowledge of the game and pushing the U18s and the Development Squad players onto the next level.

“It’s been really good! It’s definitely been an eye opener” he said.

“It was always going to be different being on the other side of the fence. I’ve been a professional now for close to 16 years and it’s been unbelievable but I’m fortunate to have been given an opportunity and to have Steve and Gareth as mentors are helping me massively.

“I’m learning every day and I get a buzz developing the younger lads. Hopefully, we can get a few into the First Team and that means everyone’s doing their job!”

Support our Academy by playing the Leith Lotto! CLICK HERE to find out more!