Josh Doig admits 'shock' at Hibs contract extension two years after release by Hearts

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland
Hibernian defender Josh Doig and midfielder Joe Newell
Josh Doig and midfielder Joe Newell have both signed extended deals this week

Josh Doig admits it is a "shock" to have earned himself a new long-term contract with Hibernian two years after the "hurt" of his release by Hearts.

The 18-year-old left-back's displays since returning from loan with Queen's Park in League Two have led to speculation about his future.

But Hibs responded by extending his deal by two years until summer 2025.

"Being released was a big knock, but coming to Hibs helped my confidence so much," Doig says.

"Football is an absolute rollercoaster - it's madness - and I can't thank them enough for hauling me back up. I fell back in love with the game, because when I was released, it was a hard time for me and my family - looking for jobs and for what to do."

The new deal comes two days after English midfielder Joe Newell signed a two-year contract extension until 2023.

While city rivals Hearts have dropped to the Scottish Championship, Doig has played 22 times for the side sitting third in the top flight, all but two of them starts.

"I was nowhere near the player I am now at 15 or 16 when I got released," he admits. "I was tall, lanky and playing centre midfield.

"I didn't know what to do, but I fell back into centre-half and found my comfort a wee bit. Obviously I've now fallen into left-back and left wing-back, so its good to run about with my head down."

Head coach Jack Ross admits that the new deal was partly "to give ourselves protection in trying to keep him at the club for longer in terms of any potential suitors in the future".

"And also because his progression at the club has been quick his previous contract reflected on him being a development player," he explains. "He is a first-team player on merit and I think he will continue to be so."

Ross is not too surprised to see Doig being compared with Scotland's two most high-profile recent left-back exports - Arsenal's Keiran Tierney and Liverpool's Andrew Robertson.

"We run away with ourselves when young players make a great impression. but undoubtedly he has the mindset and the temperament," he adds. "If he can get to the level of those guys, it would be outstanding, but it's not a pipe dream for him to have those ambitions."

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport