Livingston manager David Hopkin not afraid to turn to youth – even in relegation scrap



Livingston head coach David Hopkin has vowed to put his faith in youth, insisting that is the only way most Scottish clubs can survive.

Hopkin recently made talented teen Matthew Knox the youngest player to ever make a senior appearance for the Lions by throwing him on as a substitute in their 4-1 win at St Mirren – just four days after his 16th birthday.

He has also handed first-team opportunities to 18-year-old Ryan Currie, giving the youngster a run out during Saturday’s defeat against Rangers, and recently snapped up ex-Gers kid Craig Halkett.

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Hopkin hopes to turn Livingston into a conveyor belt of young talent

Danny Mullen, Keiran Gibbons, both 20, and 19-year-old Morgyn Neill have also been regulars for the Championship outfit this season.

And while Hopkin has added some experience to the Livi ranks with the arrival of Mark Fotheringham, he will continue to give youngsters the platform to shine.

Hopkin told Capital City Press: “I’m not scared to give kids a chance. I did it at Morton when I was caretaker and five or six of those players are playing regularly for the first team.

“Improving young players is something I am passionate about and, if they are deserving of it, then they will get their chance in the senior side.

“Young Matthew Knox and Ryan Currie are examples. That is the way I am going to go as a manager, I’ll look to get the kids coming through. That is the only way a club like Livingston, and most of Scottish football, will survive.

“I’m looking to build for the future. Not just until the end of this season.”