Marc McNulty will run out for Hibs at Livingston’s Tony Macaroni Arena on Friday, and will look back to where things started to take off for him, after probably wondering at one time if he would ever play professionally at all.
The centre-forward has been brilliant for Hibs since his loan move from Reading in January, scoring six goals in just seven league games.
It is quite ironic that he will be in the visitors dressing room for the game, having been let go by the Edinburgh side as a 16-year-old, and Livingston being the side that took a chance on him.
Now a full Scotland international, he is proof-positive that never giving up, and having self-belief in times of adversity, truly is a trait worth clinging on to.
It was current Cowdenbeath manager, Gary Bollan, who saw something in McNulty, and he recalled to the Edinburgh News: “Marc had been released by Hibs and, when he was even younger, Celtic.
“It’s credit to him because he never gave up, he had belief in his own ability and is enjoying the rewards by playing at the level he is now.
“It’s fantastic for other kids, who, at an early stage get a knock in football, can see the confidence Marc had to build himself back up.”
It was thanks to Bollan that he got his chance in the Livingston senior team, having shown signs of what he can do for the youth side.
“When he came to Livingston, we saw in training he had the ability to score goals. He’d been doing well in the Under-19s so he was due a wee chance for the first team.”
From there, and thanks to his patience, he gradually became a regular scorer for Livingston, which saw him catch the eye south of the border, eventually earning him a move to Sheffield United, and now getting international recognition with Scotland.
His story is one of inspiration for youngsters all over the country who may be thinking of giving up because they have been overlooked by professional clubs.
It is testament to the old adage of work hard, and stay positive.
That is exactly what McNulty did, and if you are in a similar position, you never know… your Gary Bollan may be just around the corner.
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