Hibs midfielder Rudi Molotnikov has joined Stirling Albion on loan, with the talented youngster instructed to build upon his promising showings for the Easter Road first team.

The 17-year-old has made five appearances for Hibs this season after signing a three-year deal in the summer, with David Gray handing the Scotland youth internationalist his senior debut as a late substitute in the 3-0 Europa Conference League Play-off second-leg defeat by Aston Villa, before he made his league bow under Nick Montgomery as a second-half substitute in the 2-0 league win against Aberdeen at Easter Road in October.


Cameos off the bench followed against Celtic and Motherwell before he earned his maiden start for the first team in the 1-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round win at Forfar Athletic. 

Following the arrival of seven new players in the January transfer window and the return to fitness of several injured players, Molotnikov - who was a regular for the club's under-18s at the age of 15, and is still young enough to be eligible for Darren McGregor's side - has found first-team opportunities hard to come by.

Speaking about the decision to loan Molotnikov to Stirling Albion, where fellow Hibs midfielder Robbie Hamilton enjoyed a temporary spell last season, Montgomery said: "This is a good move for Rudi that will allow him to get more experience playing senior football at a competitive level.

“Rudi is a very talented young player who has impressed when called upon this season. He has been involved in a lot of matchday squads for us, but this loan move will be a good, new challenge for him to develop playing week in, week out, before joining the squad again for pre-season."

Moltonikov has played 102 minutes of senior football this season as well as 110 minutes across two games for Hibs B in the Challenge Cup, during which he scored in a 4-0 win against Brechin City at Glebe Park. 

He joins former Hibs youngsters Callum Crane and Jordan McGregor at Forthbank and could make his debut this weekend against Queen of the South at Palmerston Park. 

Binos boss Darren Young said of the move: "Rudi can play off the side, he can play off the front, midfield, attacking midfielder, he can play a couple of positions. He's a player who we spoke about at the start of the season but it never happened.

“He's someone who is going to add to the squad. He’s direct, and we’re hoping he will create, and he’s going to give us goals, and he gets his opportunity.

“He’s a young boy, he’s starting out in the game, but there are a lot of experienced guys here who he can learn from and kick on before going back to Hibs and doing well.”