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Ethan Laidlaw signs first professional contract

Hibernian Academy graduate Ethan Laidlaw has signed his first professional contract.

The 16-year-old striker is the eighth player from the HTC youth ranks to have taken the landmark step this season.

Ethan follows in the footsteps of Connor Young, Jack Brydon, Jacob Blaney, Josh O’Connor, Murray Aiken, Murray Johnson and Robbie Hamilton.

The boyhood Hibs supporter – who has been part of the Academy set-up since he was 10 – is described as an ‘agile, quick and skilful attacking player’.

He said: “It’s a great day for me and the family. I’ve been a big Hibs fan all my life, so it feels like a great achievement to be able to call myself a professional footballer.

“I’ve also been a ball-boy since our first season in The Championship and there have been some memorable games along the way – like the 5-5 draw with Rangers and the Edinburgh Derbies.

“When you see all the fans celebrating and singing ‘Sunshine on Leith’ at the end, it gives you goosebumps.”

Sporting Director Graeme Mathie added: “We are delighted to see Ethan signing a professional contract.

“He’s the first 2005-born player we have in the Academy who has signed a contract and follows many the 2004 age group who have been at the club from a young age.

“Ethan signing is a credit to all the staff who have worked with him throughout his time at Hibernian, the ongoing support from his family, and Ethan’s willingness to work hard to improve.

“We were able to show Ethan a clear pathway of how we might be able to move between our Under-18s to our first team – likely involving our strategic partnership with Stenhousemuir – and we hope he can be the next young player to move from the terraces to the pitch at Easter Road in the coming years.”