AN Ellesmere Port teenager is setting his sights on the Scottish Premier League and becoming the next big talent to roll off the renowned Hibernian production line.
Highly-rated Tom McCready has signed for the Easter Road outfit after bringing his six-year stay at Everton to an end.
The 18-year-old midfielder is training with Hibs’ senior stars at the club’s £5m state-of-the-art training ground, but he is likely to start the season with their all-conquering under 19s team.
Seven members of that side have been handed first-team contracts and McCready wants to follow in their footsteps.
“I had a couple of offers and I spoke to a couple of clubs after leaving Everton, but I’d already said to Hibs I’d go to see them and once I got here I loved it and didn’t want to go anywhere else,” said McCready, who is settling well into life in Edinburgh.
“One of the main attractions for coming here was that if you do well for the youth team you’ve got a good chance of making the first team. It’s seem to be a case of, ‘if you’re good enough, you’re old enough’, and that’s just what a young player wants to hear.
“I’m still eligible for the U19s team but I want to progress as quickly as I can. I’d love to play in the Scottish Premier League, but I know there’s a lot of hard work to do before then.”
McCready was head-hunted by Hibs after playing regularly for Everton’s reserves. The former Ellesmere Port Catholic High School student is a fan of Everton’s bitter rivals Liverpool, however, and he counts the Reds’ Spanish maestro Xabi Alonso as the midfielder he admires the most.
But McCready has a role model closer to home in the shape of big brother Chris, who has made more than 150 Football League appearances for Crewe Alexandra and Tranmere Rovers.