***HAVE MARKED THIS SCOTLAND ONLY BUT YOU MIGHT WANT TO MAKE IT UK GIVEN MURRAY’S INVOLVEMENT***
Hibernian youngsters Ryan Porteous and Fraser Murray have been backed to go all the way after tennis ace Andy Murray helped serve up their new contracts.
The pair have both fought their way into the Neil Lennon’s first-team in recent months and have now been rewarded with new deals that tie them to the Easter Road club until 2023.
Both are being mentored by two-time Wimbledon champion Murray after signing up to his 77 Sports Management agency earlier this year.
And the former world number one believes both can now soar after committing their futures to Hibs.
Murray – a boyhood Hibs supporter – said: “Ryan and Fraser have come up through the academy at Hibs and I know everyone at the club thinks very highly of them.
“It’s great to be involved in helping them both realise their potential, I’m convinced both will go on to have great careers.”
Scotland Under-21 centre-back Porteous has emerged as one of the country’s most promising defenders since making his debut in July last year. The 19-year-old has chalked up 23 appearances for Lennon’s side, helping to register eight clean sheets.
He said: “As a young player in an academy, your target is to get into the first-team. I am proud to have done that and I am pleased to have signed a long-term deal with the club. It is the best place for me to be at this moment in time.
“I know that the hard work isn’t over and it won’t ever be. I’ll keep working hard in training to improve and I will learn from those around me at the club.
“I’m really looking forward to the next stage in my career and continuing my development here.”
Murray, also 19, has made nine appearances for the club and grabbed his first two Hibs goals against Montrose and Alloa in last season’s Betfred Cup group stage.
The midfielder added: “Signing the deal with the club until 2023 is an amazing thing for me and Ryan. I’m really happy that everything has been signed and confirmed.
“For me, the next step is pushing on and being part of the first team squad on a regular basis and I’m determined to add to my nine appearances for the club before the end of the current campaign.”
Lennon expects big things of the pair now that their futures are sorted.
The Northern Irishman said: “When you have two young players in your team you want them to be here for as long as they can be, especially if they are fantastically talented like Ryan and Fraser are.
“Ryan is big, strong and extremely comfortable on the ball. He has shown a maturity beyond his years in my time at the club, but there is still a raw edge to him that will erode over time. Fraser has come on brilliantly too. He is a great talent and is impressing in training and in the Reserve League.
“Both of the players have shown they can handle the first-team environment when I have put them into the team. I have been impressed with the maturity of them both in terms of their performances and attitudes in training and I am delighted they see their future with the club.”