Josh Doig admits he has aspirations of following in Scotland captain Andy Robertson’s path to the top after signing a new long-term deal at Hibernian.
The similarities between the pair do not just end with both Doig and Robertson both being left-backs.
Like Liverpool’s swashbuckling defender, Doig suffered a career defining set-back at a young age, the 18-year-old being told by Hearts in 2019 that he was not good enough.
Doig got his first taste of professional football with the Spiders on loan from Hibs last season, a spell that laid the foundations for this term’s impressive breakthrough campaign at Easter Road.
After signing a new deal that ties him to the Leith club until summer 2025 yesterday, Doig, who has previously been linked with Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal, has candidly spoken about his personal targets.
“I like watching the two Scottish lads, (Arsenal’s) Kieran Tierney and Andy Robertson,” said Doig, who is set to make his 24th appearance of the season in today’s visit of Motherwell.
“Being Scottish they are a massive inspiration.
“I watch the two of them as I can and try to base my game on them because they are such attacking left backs and also aggressive in the defensive sense.
“Seeing where they both came from, with Andy Robertson at Queen’s Park, like me, at the start – that gives me hope.
“Seeing where he came from and where he is now, it is a career path I wouldn’t mind taking but I know it’s not that easy.
“You hear that a lot, that players bounce back after being released.
“When I was released I did fall out of love with football and it was my mum and dad who picked me up and told me to trust that I was good enough.
“Thank God I listened and stuck at it. Look at where I am now and I want to keep pushing forward.”
Doig’s maturity on the ball and eloquence off the pitch belie his tender years.
However, head coach Jack Ross admits he likes the fact that the teenager still feels compelled to ask if he can clock off following a day’s work at their East Mains training base.
Ross, who also tied down midfielder Joe Newell on a new deal until summer 2023 on Tuesday, said: “Around the club this season has been unusual because we’re in our own first team bubble so we don’t have development players in the building.
“Josh still carries out a number of duties to help us because there are a lot less people in the training ground.
“He still makes sure the balls are ready in the morning and still has other ground staff duties to do.
“He still comes and asks my staff if he can leave, which is good.
“I think that will continue, that’s testament to how my staff interact with him and how he is as a young man.
“That keeps him grounded as well and I’m sure there will become a time in the future when he will decide when he wants to leave but at the moment he chaps on the coaching staff’s door to make sure it’s okay.”