BORDERS youngster Jay McGarva celebrated his 17th birthday this week by signing his first professional full-time contract with Hibernian.

The left-footed midfielder who is comfortable anywhere on the left flank and is more than capable of scoring goals has been with the Easter Road club since the age of nine.

He is now considered to be a versatile member of the U18s squad and is looking to make the step up this year.

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Last season he scored a brace against both Hearts and St Mirren last year for the U18s.

Jay who stays with proud parents Gary and Gillian and sister Lexi in Earlston left the High School in the summer and is now full time with the Premiership club.

Dad Gary said: “He’s a happy boy to have signed the contract and is determined to put in the effort. His diet has changed, and he is over the moon to be playing for the Development side.

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“I used to work in Dubai but moved back to the Borders in 2015. Jay had been doing well over there and when we came back he got a trial with Hibs and was taken on.

“He’s a midfielder but can play anywhere on the left. There are another two players from the Borders who also signed Zach Bruce from Coldstream and Josh Landers from Peebles and they get dropped off here and all travel to the Hibs Training Centre together. It’s a happy journey.”

Jay was in action last week for the Hibs Development side in their 4-0 away victory to Brechin City.

Hibernian FC Academy Director, Gareth Evans said: "Signing your first professional contract is a very proud day for any young footballer and one they will remember for the rest of their lives.

"Each of these young lads is thoroughly deserving of their new contracts and we are looking forward to watching them progress for the U18s and Hibs Dev Squad over the course of the new season!"