{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-linked-with-oxford-united-midfielder-liam-sercombe-1-4459565","id":"1.4459565","articleHeadline": "Hibs linked with Oxford United midfielder Liam Sercombe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495988729000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs have been credited with an interest in influential Oxford United midfielder Liam Sercombe.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4459564.1495989444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Sercombe dropped out of the Oxford team towards the end of the season"} ,"articleBody": "

The 27-year-old is available to leave the Kassam Stadium after a fallout with manager Michael Appleton although the League One club will seek a fee in excess of £100,000.

Sercombe joined Oxford two years ago from Exeter City, the club at which he started his career and made more than 250 appearances. The attacking midfielder scored 17 goals in his first season with the U’s as they won promotion from League Two. He continued to be a prominent player for Oxford over the past season, starting regularly and contributing five goals as they finished eighth in League One. However, he was frozen out for the last month of the campaign for unspecified disciplinary reasons. Appleton confirmed that the only reason they triggered a one-year extension of his contract was to ensure they were guaranteed a fee from his next club.

“We’ve had quite a few enquiries regarding him,” said the Oxford manager.

“No-one has made an offer yet, but I’m expecting one club to shortly. We’ve had a lot of people enquire about whether he’s available. Obviously the answer is yes, but there will be a fee involved.”

Charlton Athletic and Luton Town are also keen on Sercombe, but indications over the weekend are that Hibs have moved to the front of the queue. Manager Neil Lennon has already stated that he is eager to add a goalscoring midfielder for his team’s return to the Premiership and Sercombe, who has netted 45 times in his career, would appear to fit the bill.

Meanwhile, the future of another Hibs target, Simon Murray, is set to become clearer after his campaign with Dundee United concluded on Sunday. Lennon is an admirer of the 25-year-old striker, who is available to move under freedom of contract as his deal at Tannadice expires this summer.

The Easter Road club have also been linked with Anthony Stokes, Kris Commons, Shaun Maloney, Steven Whittaker and Piotr Parzyszek in recent weeks, while they are working to retain goalkeeper Ofir Marciano and defender Efe Ambrose after they played their part in securing promotion to the Premiership over the past season. 
Danny Swanson has already been signed on a pre-contract from St Johnstone.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4459564.1495989444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4459564.1495989444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Liam Sercombe dropped out of the Oxford team towards the end of the season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Liam Sercombe dropped out of the Oxford team towards the end of the season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4459564.1495989444!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/craig-beattie-agrees-new-edinburgh-city-contract-1-4458847","id":"1.4458847","articleHeadline": "Craig Beattie agrees new Edinburgh City contract","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495887351000 ,"articleLead": "

Former Hearts striker Craig Beattie has signed on for another year at Edinburgh City, and will combine playing with becoming part of manager Gary Jardine’s coaching team.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458846.1495887346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Beattie"} ,"articleBody": "

The 33-year-old ex-Celtic and Scotland frontman scored four league goals as City achieved survival with games to spare in their first ever season as an SPFL club. His experience and creativity proved a good foil for fellow strikers Ouzy See, Lewis Allan and Derek Riordan.

Beattie sees a move towards the coaching side of things as the natural next step in his career, although feels he is still more than able to contribute on the pitch as City look to build on last season’s seventh-placed finish in Ladbrokes League Two.

“Firstly I am delighted to have agreed an extension to my playing contract at Edinburgh City and looking forward to contributing on the pitch next season,” said Beattie.

“From a coaching point of view I’m very excited to join up with the current coaching staff whilst working hard to ensure we have every chance of winning football matches.

“Finally, I would like to thank the board and management for their continued support.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458846.1495887346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458846.1495887346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Craig Beattie","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Craig Beattie","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458846.1495887346!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/scottish-and-english-clubs-clamour-for-stefan-scougall-1-4458099","id":"1.4458099","articleHeadline": "Scottish and English clubs clamour for Stefan Scougall","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863046000 ,"articleLead": "

Clubs in Scotland and England are clamouring to sign former Livingston midfielder Stefan Scougall as a free agent.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458098.1495802733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stefan Scougall was released by Sheffield United after three-and-a-half years at Bramall Lane"} ,"articleBody": "

The 24-year-old from Edinburgh has been released by Sheffield United and is understandably not short of interest having played 110 times south of the Border.

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright wants to bring the player back to Scotland as a replacement for Danny Swanson, who left to join Hibs.

Wright faces stiff competition, though. At least two other Premiership teams have declared an interest, whilst several of England’s League One and League Two clubs are also in the mix.

“There have been three or four clubs in Scotland, a couple of English League Two teams and three in League One,” said Scougall, speaking exclusively to the Evening News.

“Some teams have been waiting to see what division they’re going to be in so I just need to weigh up my options over the next couple of weeks. Then I’ll need to decide where is right for me to go.

“I don’t think I’ll be short of options because of the level of contact.

“It’s a matter of looking at what’s on offer, getting contracts on the table and deciding where I’m going to play my football next season.

“I wouldn’t rule out a return to Scotland. A lot of guys in the Premiership are right good players who have been linked with moves to the English Championship and Premiership. The standard in Scotland has risen a little bit from when I was playing there four years ago. I wouldn’t be against a move back home.”

Scougall’s priority is to choose a destination where he will play regularly for the foreseeable future.

The last two seasons have left him frustrated at Bramall Lane as successive managers Nigel Adkins and Chris Wilder used him only sparingly – and sometimes not at all.

He was sent on loan to Fleetwood Town last year and wasn’t offered a new contract when his deal expired recently. He left Livingston in January 2014 with a steadfast belief he could succeed in England, and that notion hasn’t left him.

“I want to go somewhere where I can play week in and week out, whether that’s down south or back in Scotland,” he explained.

“I want to get back playing football, enjoying every week of training to play a game on a Saturday. For me, that’s your real wage as a footballer.

“I’ve been training well in England every week and not really getting a sniff, so it’s been quite hard.

“My only aim is to train Monday to Friday and then get the rewards by playing on a Saturday.”

All offers will be considered. St Johnstone clearly holds a certain appeal given Scougall was at McDiarmid Park to take in their 1-0 league win over Partick Thistle earlier this month. He isn’t quite ready to commit and may still feel he has unfinished business in England.

“I can’t rule anything out at the moment. I want to play football, whether that’s in League One or League Two in England, or back in Scotland. I just have to wait and see what the options are,” he said. “There has been a lot of interest from both sides of the Border so it’s just trying to weigh up the right move.”

Moving from his home in Yorkshire wouldn’t faze him either.

He is at a stage in his career where the next step is vital if he is to progress and reach his potential over the next two to three seasons.

“I don’t mind moving. My girlfriend might have to find a new job and we’d have to move all the stuff out of our house but I just need to play football. If that means moving back to Scotland, further down south or somewhere else in England, I don’t really mind.”

Scougall left Livingston three-and-a-half years ago as a notably slight and dainty midfielder.

He remains in the diminutive category at 5ft 7ins tall, but English football has taught him the value of upper body strength and proper physical conditioning.

“It’s more consistent and there are a lot more games down in England. You need to do more gym work to prevent injury,” he said.

“I’ve only missed one game through injury this season. You do need to work more on your prehab and rehab.

“I’ve played over 100 games in England now so I’ve picked up decent experience. The level of consistency is slightly better than Scotland. A lot of boys I played with at Livingston I felt could have played down in League One in England but you do need to work hard at your game.”

Although he ultimately fell out of the picture at Sheffield United, he is still a popular figure with supporters. Scoring in the 2014 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley against Hull City gained the little midfielder from Scotland instant popularity in Sheffield.

“I enjoyed my time down at Sheffield United and I’ll always remember the highs and the lows.

“It’s a big club with fantastic fans and I want to thank them for their support.”

Whoever lands Scougall next season will get a young, creative midfielder with bags of experience and no little desire to make the most of his 
undoubted talents.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458098.1495802733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458098.1495802733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stefan Scougall was released by Sheffield United after three-and-a-half years at Bramall Lane","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stefan Scougall was released by Sheffield United after three-and-a-half years at Bramall Lane","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458098.1495802733!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/the-man-who-took-a-chance-on-danny-swanson-when-no-one-else-would-1-4458232","id":"1.4458232","articleHeadline": "The man who took a chance on Danny Swanson when no-one else would","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863039000 ,"articleLead": "

Danny Swanson will play one of his first matches for his beloved Hibs against both the manager and club who gave him his big break in senior football 12 years ago.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458230.1495809159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Swanson plays for Berwick back in 2007"} ,"articleBody": "

When the 30-year-old former Dundee United, Peterborough, Coventry City, Hearts and St Johnstone midfielder rocks up at Shielfield Park for his new team’s pre-season friendly against Berwick Rangers on July 11, he will surely allow his mind to drift back to where and when it all took off for him. John Coughlin, who was Berwick manager in summer 2005 and is back there now in his second spell in charge of the club, recalls talking a chance on the little Leith Athletic teenager when no-one else would.

“I was at school with Danny’s uncle Stevie and I knew the Swanson family pretty well,” Coughlin told the Evening News. “We kept in touch over the years and people kept talking to me about Danny. He was at Leith Athletic but he wasn’t going anywhere fast as no other club would look at him because, physically, he was very small. We brought him down to train at Berwick, not necessarily as a favour, but on the insistence of Stevie and his dad John. They said ‘listen, take him into training and he’ll change your mind’ and he did change my mind very quickly.

“I think a few of the players were surprised I’d brought Danny in because he was so small but after one or two training sessions, they were like ‘by the way, where did you get this guy, what a player.’ He was a very, very good talent. Temperamental at times, but a fantastic footballer, and that was recognised very early in his Berwick career. He made a fairly instant impact.”

Although blown away by his raw talent, Coughlin had concerns about Swanson’s physique and lack of tactical discipline potentially preventing him moving into the full-time ranks.

“Straight away, I could see he had the football ability, but I did doubt whether physically he’d develop well enough to go full-time,” said Coughlin. “He also had his own rules about how to play, so I had to try and get him to adapt. I was actually a bit annoyed when I read an article after Danny went to Dundee United and Craig Levein was saying Danny had been allowed to do what he wanted on the pitch – that wasn’t true. Anybody who knows me will know I’m hugely disciplined in what I do and big on organisation. He did take a wee while to get used to coming out of boys football and playing first-team man’s football and get to grips with what I wanted from him, in terms of what I was expecting from him on the discipline side of things. But ultimately his football talent just superseded everything else because he had so much ability to beat people and make things happen.”

Within a couple of years of playing for Berwick, Swanson, who had been working as a plumber, was attracting attention from full-time clubs. Dundee United ultimately snared him for around £40,000 midway through the 2007/08 season when he had just turned 21.

“He became a players’ favourite and a fans’ favourite at Berwick,” said Coughlin. “He was our star asset, and when it became time for him to move on, he didn’t have an agent so I actually helped him do the deal with Dundee United. I wasn’t acting as his agent – it was a case of me helping him out as his manager and his friend and trying to steer him in the right direction.

“Hamilton came in for him first and Billy Reid was desperate to buy him, so we went there and had a look around but he didn’t fancy that at the time. With no prompting from me, Danny immediately said when we got in the car ‘it’s not for me.’ A lot of guys at that stage would have got starry-eyed and jumped at it because that would have been a big move for him to a club who have a reputation for developing young talent, but I thought ‘fair enough, you know your own mind.’ Then within days, Dundee United made their move and I took him up to Tannadice. The deal was done within a couple of days.

“United were riding high under Craig Levein. It was the right deal for Danny to take at that time, and he’s never looked back. If he stayed at Berwick, he might have missed his opportunity and never made it to where he is now. He needed that move to develop at a full-time club.

“He’s certainly benefited from going full-time because you see a different Danny Swanson now. He’s had a good career, made a bit of money and had some good moves. You don’t go down to Peterborough and Coventry City if you can’t handle it physically, so he’s obviously worked really hard at that, but I think he needed the full-time environment to bring him on. If he hadn’t got the chance to go full-time when he did, he’d probably still be playing in the lower leagues just because he wouldn’t have had the same chance to develop himself physically. There were certainly never any issues about his ability on a football field. He could beat people for fun and score goals. He’s a really good guy who comes from a great family, and I’m glad for them all at how it’s turned out for him. Sometimes you just need somebody to give you a chance. We gave Danny that and he took it with both hands.”

The main surprise for Coughlin in relation to Swanson is that it has taken so long for the mercurial Leither to finally get taken on by his local team.

“Hibs wouldn’t look at him when he was younger,” said the Berwick manager, who is also an Edinburgh-based Hibs supporter. “I remember people asking at the time why Hibs weren’t looking to sign him. He was a boyhood Hibs fan on their doorstep and I think a lot of people felt they had missed a trick in not taking him at the time when he went to Dundee United [in 2008]. He’s taken a long time to get to Hibs, but I think a lot of people will say he should have been there long before now.”

Coughlin believes Swanson, who scored 15 goals for St Johnstone last season, will thrive on his move to his boyhood team and illuminate Easter Road with his natural talent.

“The Hibs fans will love him,” said Coughlin. “He’s got the ability to excite people as soon as he gets on the ball and there are very few of those in Scotland just now. There’ll be an air of excitement around Easter Road when he gets the ball. He’s got so much creativity.

“He’s one of those boys you think ‘if you were born in Spain, you’d have had international caps years ago’. The Spanish would value the type of talent he has, whereas in the British leagues we look more towards the physicality of players.

“He’s got the change of direction, which not a lot of players have, even at the top level. Right foot, left foot, it doesn’t matter to him. At St Johnstone, Tommy Wright let him play wherever he felt he could cause the most damage and you’d see him popping up all over the park. In a 4-2-3-1, Danny’s perfect for any of those three attacking midfield positions. To me, he was always a No.10 because he was such a creative player behind the main striker.

“As a Hibs supporter myself, I’m excited to see him playing for Hibs and making things happen and scoring goals.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458230.1495809159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458230.1495809159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danny Swanson plays for Berwick back in 2007","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Swanson plays for Berwick back in 2007","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458230.1495809159!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458231.1495809165!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458231.1495809165!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Coughlin says Neil Lennon has got himself a great player","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Coughlin says Neil Lennon has got himself a great player","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458231.1495809165!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-won-t-rush-into-signings-like-in-january-ian-cathro-1-4458097","id":"1.4458097","articleHeadline": "Hearts won’t rush into signings like in January – Ian Cathro","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863035000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts coach Ian Cathro is determined to avoid a repeat of the rushed January transfer window after releasing six of the nine players he brought in.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458096.1495802662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro believes Hearts will get player recruitment right this summer"} ,"articleBody": "

He admitted today that the policy did not work because there was not enough time to properly plan a recruitment drive.

Alex Tziolis, Tasos Avlonitis, Andraz Struna, Lennard Sowah, Dylan Bikey and Moha Choulay have all left Tynecastle after just four months.

Only Esmael Goncalves, Malaury Martin and Aaron Hughes remain of the nine players recruited during a busy winter transfer window.

Cathro joined Hearts in December after his predecessor, Robbie Neilson, moved south to MK Dons. Strengthening the squad in January was a priority but the required quality did not arrive.

As a result, the Edinburgh club won only six of 26 matches from December onwards.

“It’s a reflection of the situation we were in during January. We needed to bring players in at that point,” admitted Cathro.

“We were only looking to do long-term business on things we were certain of and weren’t rushed on. Other circumstances forced us into needing to rush. For example, Callum Paterson’s injury, then John Souttar’s injury as well. We needed to adjust and use players in different positions. There was a lot of strain. It was partly circumstances and partly just down to how business goes in that window.”

The summer window has started encouragingly for Hearts fans with the return of former captain Christophe Berra. Cathro intends recruitment to be much more measured and precise this time round. “This one is different so we need to work hard. We have to do it properly, professionally and bring the right players and people to the club,” he added.

• HEARTS season ticket holders have been given free entry to all Hearts Ladies home matches at King’s Park in Dalkeith. The club’s women’s team will allow fans in for free provided they show their season ticket at the gate.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458096.1495802662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458096.1495802662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro believes Hearts will get player recruitment right this summer","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro believes Hearts will get player recruitment right this summer","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458096.1495802662!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/maroon-memories-de-vries-seals-place-in-europe-1-4457496","id":"1.4457496","articleHeadline": "Maroon Memories: De Vries seals place in Europe","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863006000 ,"articleLead": "

THERE may have been a bigger win at Ibrox with Rangers securing a 6-1 victory over Dunfermline to secure the SPL title, but the Hearts fans staged a party of their own at Tynecastle after victory over Dundee qualified them for Europe.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457495.1495747876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark de Vries celebrates after scoring a header from Stephane Mahes cross"} ,"articleBody": "

Match-winner Mark de Vries and his jubilant team-mates enjoyed a lap of honour alongside managerial duo Craig Levein and Peter Houston after a remarkable season which brought European football back to Edinburgh after three years.

Hearts, resplendent in new silver away shirts, were missing the elan of Jean-Louis Valois; Levein opting to blood youngster Joe Hamill on the far left of a midfield five.

Lee Mair found out in the 11th minute exactly how troublesome an opponent De Vries can be and, but for a few inches, it could have been to the visitors’ cost as Hearts constructed a move of alluring fluidity.

Graham Weir fed Joe Hamill on the left touchline and his first time pitch into the area saw the Dutchman arch away from Mair to send a diving header just shy of Julian Speroni’s post.

The pressure of fierce competition off, both sets of supporters settled back in their bucket seats in the Gorgie sunshine and enjoyed the to and fro of the game.

The Tynecastle surface, usually like the aftermath of an agricultural show at this stage of the season, was lush and conducive to possession football, and both teams appeared to be intent to play.

The posse of Dundee fans, who playfully taunted the home support with odes to Albert Kidd, were off their seats in the 16th minute but Steve Lovell failed to provide a tangible end result.

Gavin Rae played him in at the edge of the Hearts penalty box but his left-foot shot fell disappointingly wide as his team-mates squealed for the ball.

Had De Vries been able to negotiate his own sizeable feet the way he had negotiated Dundee’s off-side trap in the 42nd minute, Hearts may have had more to show for their first half territorial superiority. A lofted pass from Robbie Neilson left De Vries bearing down on goal. But the Tynecastle top scorer was left slapping the turf as the ball held up amongst his own legs and laces as he tried to cross for his lurking team-mates.

Form one top scorer to another, 27-goal Inverness marksman Dennis Wyness was paraded alongside fellow new recruit Paul Hartley in Hearts colours at half-time.

That excited the home crowd, as did a hopeful penalty claim just after the break.

A clearance from Mair left Nacho Novo nursing a sore hand – the little Spaniard was seen cradling his painful knuckles afterwards. However, no-one could genuinely argue it was hand playing ball and referee Willie Young certainly didn’t waste any time doing so either.

Still, Hearts were to be rewarded for their greater urgency and the decision to draft in Stephane Mahe was vindicated within seven minutes of his arrival. The Frenchman found the by-line and flighted in the most telling cross of the afternoon.

Talisman De Vries was there as ever, throwing himself at the ball to nod his 15th goal of a satisfying maiden season in Scotland.

Hearts: Moilanen, Maybury, Pressley, Severin, De Vries, Webster, Neilson, McCann, MacFarlane, Hamill, Weir.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hearts 1, Dundee 0: May 25, 2003"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457495.1495747876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457495.1495747876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mark de Vries celebrates after scoring a header from Stephane Mahes cross","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mark de Vries celebrates after scoring a header from Stephane Mahes cross","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457495.1495747876!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibee-history-rae-rescues-some-pride-after-hampden-agony-1-4457488","id":"1.4457488","articleHeadline": "Hibee History: Rae rescues some pride after Hampden agony","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863000000 ,"articleLead": "

hibs gained meagre consolation for their Scottish Cup final defeat when, with only six minutes left of the much-postponed last match of this elongated Scottish League season, Gordon Rae headed a picture winner for Hibs’ first victory of the season over the Ibrox side.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457487.1495747688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gordon Rae headed the winner"} ,"articleBody": "

Rangers’ goal by Billy Urquhart, however, brought their league total to 52, and thus they, and not Morton, qualify for the Drybrough Cup tournament.

An exercise for the 3000 fans was to identify the Rangers players for the Ibrox side differed in seven positions from their Scottish Cup-winning team. The missing stalwarts were Sandy Jardine, Derek Johnstone, Colin Jackson, Alex MacDonald, Derek Parlane, and Tommy McLean.

Another past time for some of the more cruel Rangers fans was to taunt Hibs’ right back, Arthur Duncan, who had scored the winning goal for Rangers in the second cup final replay on Monday evening.

So there was a touch of irony that Hibs’ opening goal should have an own goal flavour about it. Ally Brazil’s shot from 25 yards did not appear to creat a problem for Peter McCloy until Kenny Watson got in the way to deflect the ball into the net. Brazil, however, received the congratulations from him colleagues.

McCloy, incidentally, was playing his 400th game for the club and to mark the occasion he was made Rangers skipper.

McCloy excelled in saving a Rae header and Jim McArthur showed outstanding anticipation in turning away a fierce drive from Derek Strickland.

Hibs’ George Stewart had his name taken for kicking the ball away after a free-kick had been awarded to Rangers, who equalised in 57 minutes when an 18-yard shot from Urquhart gave McArthur no chance.

Rangers brought on both substitutes, Davie Cooper and Bobby Russell going off just before and just after the score which qualified Rangers to play in the Drybrough Cup. Hibs also brought on their substitutes, Arthur Duncan and Stephen Brown going off for Duncan Lambie and Jim Farmer.

Rangers’ Gordon Smith was booked for the same offence as Stewart had committed. Then, in 84 minutes, Rae headed Hibs into the lead from a Colin Campbell cross.

As well as Hibs’ win, it was confirmed that football fans in Scotland would have to dig deeper into their pockets to watch their teams in 1979/80.

Increased admission charges to both Premier League and First Division matches were approved at the annual general meeting of the Scottish League in Glasgow.

The Premier League rose from £1 to £1.10 (or £4.64 to £5.10 in 2017’s money), the First Division from 80p to 90p (£3.71 to £4.17), but the Second Division charge of 60p (£2.78) remained the same.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Hibs 2, Rangers 1: May 31, 1979"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457487.1495747688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457487.1495747688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gordon Rae headed the winner","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gordon Rae headed the winner","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457487.1495747688!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-uni-hv-seeking-revenge-against-buchan-1-4458428","id":"1.4458428","articleHeadline": "Edinburgh Uni HV seeking revenge against Buchan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495863000000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale boss Tom Connor admits his team will be seeking revenge when they host Buchan Ladies at Peffermill tomorrow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4431073.1495820145!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image"} ,"articleBody": "

The Capital outfit were beaten 2-1 in Aberdeenshire in March, a match Connor insists his players should have taken at least a point from having conceded two late goals.

EUHV occupy fifth in SWPL 2 but a win tomorrow could see them move into the top half. Equally, defeat could send the club into the relegation zone.

“We’ve set ourselves high standards and we should have taken points against Buchan a couple of months ago so we’ll be after some redemption,” Connor said. “We kind of let ourselves down in that game if I’m being honest.

“I think we’ve done okay so far but I thought we’d maybe be a couple of places higher than what we are.

“We had a really good result against Hearts a couple of weeks ago so we’ll be looking to keep that going.

“I think mentally we’re a lot stronger now so that should stand us in good stead.”

Hearts welcome Jeanfield Swifts to King’s Park, Dalkeith tomorrow where three points could see Andy Enwood’s side up to second.

Hibs Ladies, fresh from their SWPL Cup triumph last weekend, host Stirling University at Ainslie Park (4pm kick-off) and Spartans Women entertain league leaders Glasgow City, also at Ainslie Park (1pm kick-off).

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NEIL MCGLADE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4431073.1495820145!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4431073.1495820145!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "editorial image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "editorial image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4431073.1495820145!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/derek-mcinnes-seeks-glorious-end-to-aberdeen-s-epic-season-1-4458631","id":"1.4458631","articleHeadline": "Derek McInnes seeks glorious end to Aberdeen’s epic season","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495861200000 ,"articleLead": "

Whatever the outcome of this afternoon’s Scottish Cup final, Aberdeen will take one honour from this campaign. Today, Derek McInnes’ men will complete the longest season in the history of Scottish club football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458630.1495834872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derek McInnes' Aberdeen will complete the longest season in the history of Scottish club football when they contest the Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The Pittodrie club’s manager exaggerated yesterday in claiming the Hampden decider will come at the “end of a long season” that today will move on to the 350-day mark since his squad reported back for a first round Europa League qualifier. In reality, from beginning pre-season on 14 June for their opening continental foray 16 days later until today is a mere 348 days.

The fact that the Aberdeen players could finish the league campaign so strongly, with a 6-0 win over Partick Thistle after a first victory away to Rangers in 26 years, and all declare themselves fit for their second domestic final against Celtic this season is a measure of McInnes’ management.

As is the manner in which he has sought to present the break-up of the current squad as a potential driving force at the national stadium today. Niall McGinn, Ryan Jack – who McInnes says he stripped of the captaincy and handed it to Graeme Shinnie to remove the “spotlight” from him and not because he is Rangers bound – and Ash Taylor will likely make their last appearance for the club today. At the end of an epic season, McInnes dares to believe in an epic end for them and any possible other departees.

“It’s been a huge effort for everybody and we want the players, if they are leaving, the ones that are leaving, to go out in a blaze of glory,” he said. “Give it everything they’ve got. When you arrive at a club people may have a perception of you when they don’t actually know you – player or manager. However, it is important how you leave a club, the perception you leave. I’d love to put that medal in their hands but they have to go out and earn it and it would be the perfect ending to a brilliant season and also the perfect ending for a lot of those players’ careers at Aberdeen, after what they’ve given me the past few years.

“And we feel, even though we are huge underdogs and nobody really gives us a chance, it’s a game we can win.”

Despite being unquestionably the second best team in the country, in five outings against a Celtic team looking to complete the treble with a first-ever unbeaten domestic Scottish season, the best showing from Aberdeen was when they almost looked like avoiding defeat.

It is understandable for McInnes to seek encouragement in the response from going 3-0 down at home the other week and the narrowness of the loss at Celtic Park in February. That evening a late Dedryck Boyata header from a set-piece was all that separated the sides. However, as is true of all five defeats against Brendan Rodgers’ men, it was a game the Aberdeen never looked capable of winning.

Most painful was the way the Pittodrie men simply didn’t turn up in the League Cup final at Hampden, Celtic swatting them aside 3-0.“What I would say is that this feels far more relaxed,” McInnes said. That is when upsets can happen.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW SMITH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458630.1495834872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458630.1495834872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Derek McInnes' Aberdeen will complete the longest season in the history of Scottish club football when they contest the Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Derek McInnes' Aberdeen will complete the longest season in the history of Scottish club football when they contest the Scottish Cup final. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458630.1495834872!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/edinburgh-city/jim-brown-appointed-chairman-of-edinburgh-city-1-4458250","id":"1.4458250","articleHeadline": "Jim Brown appointed chairman of Edinburgh City","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495810088000 ,"articleLead": "

Edinburgh City have announced that Jim Brown will be the club’s chairman effective immediately.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458249.1495810084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh City chairman Jim Brown"} ,"articleBody": "

Brown, 56, joined the Meadowbank club’s board last summer after their promotion to the SPFL from the Lowland League.

He had previously coached the City Under-20 side and had been involved with City’s youth section for 11 years, with some of that time spent as chairman.

Having initially joined as finance director, Brown replaces Jim Lumsden as chairman.

Brown thanked predecessor Lumsden for his hard work and praised the success enjoyed under his stewardship.

“I’m delighted and very honoured to accept this position,” said Brown. “I’m extremely grateful to Jim Lumsden for all of his hard work over the past four years during which time, of course, the club won two Lowland League titles and achieved a historic promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League.

“I look forward to working with my fellow directors, the team management and all of the volunteers at the club as we move to our temporary new home at Ainslie Park Stadium and strive to build on last season’s seventh place in League Two.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4458249.1495810084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4458249.1495810084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Edinburgh City chairman Jim Brown","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Edinburgh City chairman Jim Brown","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4458249.1495810084!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/bonnyrigg-rose-boss-robbie-horn-says-juniors-has-to-change-1-4457126","id":"1.4457126","articleHeadline": "Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn says Juniors has to change","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495776658000 ,"articleLead": "

Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn says the past few weeks have a been a “nightmare” for his squad with the amount of games they have faced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457125.1495722730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Horn"} ,"articleBody": "

The New Dundas Park men play host to Carnoustie Panmure tomorrow in their tenth game this month and their 50th so far of a gruelling campaign.

Injuries are starting to take their toll on the Rose squad as they bid to regain the Super League title. And they are still competing in the East of Scotland Cup.

Horn believes Junior football has to change and said: “It’s been a nightmare to be honest, it’s not been enjoyable. We’ve just had too many games and then injuries. We are struggling for bodies at the moment.

“Junior football has got to change. This is quite frankly a shambles the way things are finishing off. Teams have been waiting for weeks to see if they are in a play-off, teams still have games left and others were finished in April.”

With injuries mounting up, Horn has been forced to promote players from the club’s under-21 squad and field them as trialists.

Rose have to win their final three games to claim the title. Kelty have one game left – at home to Bonnyrigg.

He added: “It’s not easy when you are missing so many players and you are team is having to change all the time.

“We are having to change the way we play going by who is available for different games. It’s credit to the players and on Saturday there we were outstanding [a 6-0 win at Broughty Athletic]. Getting that many goals has given us belief we can maybe turn it around because going into the game on Saturday it was looking like it was going to be a big ask.

“We are going to have to give somebody a hiding to make up the goal difference, but it’s just important we win the games.

“If we can take it down to the final game with Kelty and it’s only a couple of goals that are in it, then you never know, a 2-0 win would mean a four-goal swing.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT THOMSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457125.1495722730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457125.1495722730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Robbie Horn","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Robbie Horn","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457125.1495722730!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/newtongrange-star-determined-to-grab-super-league-lifeline-1-4457120","id":"1.4457120","articleHeadline": "Newtongrange Star determined to grab Super League lifeline","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495776628000 ,"articleLead": "

Newtongrange Star captain Lee Currie has called on his team-mates to seize the lifeline they’ve been given as they battle to preserve their Super League status.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457119.1495722113!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lee Currie gets stuck in against Penicuik. Currie says morale is high in the Newtongrange camp. Pic: TSPL"} ,"articleBody": "

The New Victoria Park men had been forced to wait almost four weeks to learn their fate after their league campaign ended on May 1 with a 1-0 victory away to Linlithgow Rose.

At one stage Star looked almost certain to be automatically relegated to the Premier League having taken until April to record their first league victory of 2017. However, with Musselburgh Athletic failing to pick up the solitary point required to remain in the Super League from their final three games, Star have been handed a reprieve and face Premier League outfit Forfar West End in Angus tomorrow in the first leg of the relegation play-off.

“We’ve been handed a lifeline and we just need to take the lifeline as it’s our last chance,” said Currie.

“We need to play as well as we did the last four games, scoring loads of goals and not conceding many.

“We did well in our last eight games, we showed a bit of character after people had written us off. We never lost in our last eight games or so and that’s kept us up. If we didn’t go on that run we would’ve been done. We got the reward for the performances we put in.”

Despite not playing last weekend, it proved to be a busy afternoon for the Star players as they kept in touch with each other on messaging application WhatsApp to keep track of events at the Riverside Stadium in Perth where Jeanfield Swifts were hosting Musselburgh. It proved to be an enjoyable evening for everyone associated with Newtongrange at their Player of the Year awards bash.

Former Berwick Rangers midfielder Currie continued: “We were just relieved and all the boys were buzzing. We’ve got a WhatsApp chat and it just kept pinging and pinging on Saturday and then we had our Player of the Year dance at night which was good. It would’ve been a bit of downer had we got relegated.

“We’ve been training ever since our last game just in case the play-off happened. A few of the boys have had to delay their holidays and some are going to miss out on weddings because we need to stay up. We are just taking the two games as they come and hopefully we can get a result and then bring them back home the following week.”

Although they only discovered they would be facing Forfar last Saturday, Star manager Stevie McLeish insists his players will be fully prepared for the first leg tomorrow.

McLeish has sought opinion from local Premier League clubs including Haddington Athletic and Tranent Juniors on their opponents while McLeish even got Forfar’s match with Sauchie at the end of April recorded in the event that they’d meet over two legs.

“The wait between then [Linlithgow match] and now has been huge,” said McLeish.

“We’ve trained but training hasn’t been that intense because we didn’t know what was going to happen. It ramped up a wee bit last Thursday after we found out the score between Linlithgow and Musselburgh and it’s ramped up considerably this week.

“I’ve had a few reports from other managers at local clubs and we had them videoed playing against Sauchie just in case we got the play-off spot. We always prepare the best we can regardless of who we are playing what level we are playing.

“It was an absolute relief that we got the play-off spot. We’re far from safe yet. We’ve still got to win over the two legs but we’ve got a chance. I’ve always said the same thing – ‘We’re not done yet’ – and it’s still the same message. We’ve given ourselves a real chance with the end to our season, which was really impressive.”

Elsewhere, Bo’ness United entertain Broxburn Athletic in the semi-finals of the Fife and Lothians Cup at Newtown Park with Tranent awaiting the winners in the final. Mark Bradley takes charge of his first match in his second spell as Linlithgow Rose manager when they travel to face Lochee United.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT THOMSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457119.1495722113!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457119.1495722113!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lee Currie gets stuck in against Penicuik. Currie says morale is high in the Newtongrange camp. Pic: TSPL","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lee Currie gets stuck in against Penicuik. Currie says morale is high in the Newtongrange camp. Pic: TSPL","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457119.1495722113!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-coach-ian-cathro-to-sign-quality-not-quantity-1-4457257","id":"1.4457257","articleHeadline": "Hearts coach Ian Cathro to sign quality, not quantity","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495776626000 ,"articleLead": "

Quality over quantity is the mantra as Hearts head coach Ian Cathro builds a new team for next season. He covets new players with character, experience, guts and leadership. Players like Christophe Berra, who rejoined the Edinburgh club this week and was immediately reappointed captain.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457256.1495738864!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is looking for more captains, more leaders as he reshapes Hearts over the summer. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

There is no doubt stars aligned favourably to allow a 35-cap international centre-back to leave a five-figure weekly salary in England and return to Scotland. Berra wanted back home to be closer to his four-year-old daughter, Ipswich agreed rather than invoke their option to keep him, and financially he is already secure so the wage drop is less of an issue.

Getting more Berras in the door will be difficult but Cathro is determined not to repeat the scattergun approach taken in January. Nine non-Scottish signings made in haste proved fruitless and six have been released already. Add Callum Paterson and Sam Nicholson leaving on freedom of contract, plus Perry Kitchen likely to go after being deposed as captain, and there are many voids to fill.

Decisions in this transfer window must be significantly better than the last one. Cathro has his work cut out and, wisely, is prioritising quality above all else. “The balance has swung in that direction,” he said. “We have been helped a little because we have a couple of the younger kids who had good experience out on loan and now become an option for us.

“Our younger players are coming through the academy. A number of them are still a bit of time away from being ready for us but they are closer. It’s about getting the right people and the right quality of player and the right characters.

“Getting Christophe is an 
important step for us at the start. We know exactly what we need to bring. We’ve always been clear on how we will get to where we want to go. My feeling is that we need more captains, we need more leaders, we need more players of stronger experience, of more resilience, of more games in their background, good moments, bad moments.

“We need players knowing they can go past a ten-minute spell in a game that is not going for us. We need more of those. There are key areas where we want to improve things and have a different level of strength. Like when a game is maybe starting to swing against us, you suffer four chances against you in a row, or a couple of corners in a row, and the mood music changes a wee bit.”

Character is indeed most evident in a footballer when events conspire against him. “It becomes really clear in the way he reacts in the couple of minutes after something happens,” continued the former Newcastle United assistant. “You can see that in the game – how he is when he is playing well and how he is when things maybe aren’t going so well.

“You see it in everything when he is on the pitch because there’s nowhere to hide. I remember preparing a game to play against Ipswich, at St James’ Park, earlier in the season. We were very aware of Christophe’s quality at that level. I am really pleased that he has joined us.

“We need to make sure we have the correct blend of players who are courageous and ready to play, and who are also courageous and ready to suffer and manage their way through that. So we are very, very aware of what we need to bring in.”

How many new recruits Hearts require is a pertinent question which Cathro isn’t keen to be drawn on. An educated guess would suggest at least six incomings are necessary. Both full-back areas need filled, another striker is a priority, plus at least one winger, possibly two. Add in another centre-back for cover.

Those coming in must be significantly better than those leaving to ensure there is no repeat of Hearts’ poor run of just six wins since last December. “We need to make some changes, we started that a long time ago if we are being honest,” continued Cathro. “It’s not for today to get into the scale of that, because we can also do that with improving on some of the things that happened. There were also some – some – positive parts during that period as well and it would be foolish to forget that.

Newcastle are restored to England’s Premier League while Cathro is under pressure to deliver at Tynecastle. He wouldn’t swap his current job for his previous one, though. “No, not at all. You can’t undervalue working in the Premier League but I have been there and I have prepared for all those games. I have done that as an assistant,” he said. “It is one of the best leagues in the world, as is the Spanish league and I have been there as well. So, no regrets on any level.”

Berra is equally satisfied he made the correct choice leaving England for Scotland. Hearts couldn’t compete with the money on offer down south so the fact he wanted back to Edinburgh for family reasons was pivotal to the move.

“When you get into the economical bit, it’s going to be a difficult task,” admitted Cathro. “It’s certainly something we would have worked towards in either situation, but we can’t pretend and say there would be any economical comparison between one option or the other. There just can’t be. So yeah, maybe some circumstances have come together.

“One of the positives is that he sees what we want to do and understands how we want to do it. He is as excited as I am and the other lead players, who have been here over the last five months. There was never really the need for a type of conversation to be had because of how we see the next steps in the club’s progress.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457256.1495738864!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457256.1495738864!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro is looking for more captains, more leaders as he reshapes Hearts over the summer. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro is looking for more captains, more leaders as he reshapes Hearts over the summer. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457256.1495738864!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/john-doolan-i-would-love-to-come-back-up-to-scotland-1-4457320","id":"1.4457320","articleHeadline": "John Doolan: I would love to come back up to Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495776605000 ,"articleLead": "

One year on from leaving Hibs amid a wave of emotion, John Doolan is keen to return to Scottish football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457317.1495731248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Doolan departed Hibs because of family reasons but he is now keen to progress his career"} ,"articleBody": "

In his role as first-team coach, the 48-year-old played an instrumental role in helping his fellow Liverpudlian, Alan Stubbs, revive the Easter Road side following relegation in 2014, with the historic Scottish Cup triumph 12 months ago proving to be their parting gift after two years in Edinburgh. Just days after beating Rangers in the final, of course, the victorious management team were headhunted by Rotherham United.

Doolan agonised over leaving Hibs as he had no desire to depart a club he had fallen in love with. The fact he was a genuine contender to replace Stubbs as head coach prior to Neil Lennon entering the frame made his decision even tougher. In the end, however, the off-field trouble he was enduring at the time – namely the passing of his father John just before the Scottish Cup final and the fact his brother’s wife was also gravely ill – meant that returning to England to be back with his family seemed the obvious choice.

Now, however, after a season which started with Doolan as Rotherham assistant and ended with him back at Wigan Athletic as first-team coach, he is open to the idea of returning north to pursue his career.

“I’d love to go back to Scotland,” Doolan told the Evening News. “Everyone knows that I’d just lost my father when I left Hibs a year ago and at the time my sister-in-law was ill as well and, unfortunately, we lost her as well a few months ago.

“I’m in a better place now, though, and I’d be open to the idea of going back up to Scotland. I’d have no hesitation if the job was right. I had two good years of working in the Championship with Hibs and competing regularly against Premiership clubs which I feel has stood me in good stead. I really enjoyed being on the Scottish scene so I’d definitely be open to coming back up the road if the right opportunity arose. I’m open-minded about where I go next and whether I’d be a coach or a No.1, but I’d jump at the chance to go back to Scotland if a suitable position came up.”

Following a difficult period in his life, Doolan feels revitalised and eager to land himself a permanent role. After he, Stubbs and Andy Holden, the third member of the managerial triumvirate, lost their jobs at Rotherham in October, Doolan spent five months out of the senior game before, in mid-March, getting a call from Graham Barrow, who had just been appointed interim manager of a Wigan Athletic side plummeting towards relegation from the Championship. Doolan, who had been first-team coach at the Latics prior to joining Hibs, accepted the invitation to assist Barrow but, having inherited a team four points adrift of safety with just nine games to play, they were fighting a losing battle.

“I had been out and about watching games, and I was actually on my way to watch Doncaster v Notts County in March when I got a call from Graham,” Doolan recalls. “I had worked with him before in my first spell at Wigan, so I went in to help him out until the end of the season.

“There were only nine games left and three of them were against Newcastle, Brighton and Reading, so it was a big ask for us to turn it round. We had nothing to lose at that stage, and we gave it a decent shot, got the players believing again and picked up a few good results. But I think with what we took on, in terms of the situation we inherited, it was a bridge too far.

“It was nice for me to get back in and get a feel for it again after having been out of it since leaving Rotherham. I was always out and about watching games but there’s no substitute for being hands-on and being on the training ground, dealing with players and team selections and so on. It was a totally different environment from the first time I was at Wigan because it wasn’t a particularly happy camp after the way the season had gone, but it was good experience for me to deal with that situation. I learned a lot in the two months.”

While he awaits his next opportunity in senior football, Doolan will spend a week early next month trying to unearth the next Jamie Vardy. “I’ve got some work with the V9 Academy coming up, which Jamie Vardy’s launching,” he explained. “I’m basically doing a week’s coaching at Manchester City’s training ground, trying to find the next Jamie Vardy-type non-league player to come through.

“After that, I’m just keeping my options open. I’m in a better place off the pitch than I was a year ago, and I’m ready to go again.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457317.1495731248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457317.1495731248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John Doolan departed Hibs because of family reasons but he is now keen to progress his career","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John Doolan departed Hibs because of family reasons but he is now keen to progress his career","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457317.1495731248!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457319.1495731256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457319.1495731256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Doolan was a contender to succeed Alan Stubbs as Hibs manager","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Doolan was a contender to succeed Alan Stubbs as Hibs manager","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457319.1495731256!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-enforcer-marvin-bartley-ready-made-for-premiership-1-4457402","id":"1.4457402","articleHeadline": "Hibs enforcer Marvin Bartley ‘ready-made for Premiership’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495746034000 ,"articleLead": "

Marvin Bartley has been backed to establish himself as one of the top midfield enforcers in Scotland when Hibs return to the Premiership next season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457401.1495738569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley is set to be a key player for Hibs next term"} ,"articleBody": "

The 30-year-old former Bournemouth, Burnley and Leyton Orient anchorman recently signed a new two-year deal at Easter Road at the end of a campaign in which he regularly stood out in the most high-profile matches. Ex-Hibs winger Michael Weir described Bartley as the team’s key performer during their Championship-winning season in his Evening News column earlier this month, and John Doolan, the club’s former first-team coach, reckons retaining the bustling Englishman will prove to be one of Neil Lennon’s best pieces of business this summer.

“It’s brilliant for Hibs that Marvin’s re-signed because he brings so much to the table, on and off the pitch,” Doolan told the Evening News. “He’s a massive player for the club. He’s ready-made for the Premiership. He’s already shown how good he can be against Premiership teams in the cup games.

“He sticks out in the big games because he’s a big-game player. He’s played in a lot of big games down south, so he has the experience to deal with big-game situations. He’s played at a higher level than most of the other Hibs players. They’re all big games in the Premiership, and he’s shown he can handle them.”

Doolan worked closely with Bartley for a season after Alan Stubbs signed him two years ago and continued to follow his progress from afar last term. The Liverpudlian coach believes the combative midfielder is one of the key members of the Hibs squad, even though his destructive work isn’t always universally noticed.

“Marv knows what he’s got in his locker, and does all that really well, and he knows his limitations,” said Doolan. “Sometimes what he does goes unnoticed, but I notice 100 per cent what he does every time he pulls on a Hibs shirt. He always seems to be in the right place at the right time, he breaks a lot of counter-attacks up, he wins the ball and passes it on.

“He doesn’t over-complicate things, he likes to keep it simple. He adds physicality and stature to the team.

“He’ll be the first to admit he’s not technically gifted. Me and him used to have a chuckle in training when I had him doing inside and outside turns because he’d end up standing on the ball or whatever.

“He’d laugh about it and say ‘that’s not my game, John’ but I’d say ‘Marv, you never know, you might need these’. And there were a few times in games where he pulled off a move to get himself away from situations, and we had a wee giggle about that.”

Doolan expects Bartley’s experience and leadership to be of major benefit to Hibs when they step up to the top flight after a three-year absence.

“As well as being a top player, Marv’s a top lad,” he said. “He’s got a great character with a great manner about him. He’s great round the training ground with his team-mates and then he contributes for the team with what he does on the pitch.

“He trains at 100 per cent. As a coach, he’s a joy to train. He’s got a good way about him on the training ground. His character’s great. He sets the standard in training and he’ll give someone a lift if they’re not pulling their weight.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457401.1495738569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457401.1495738569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Marvin Bartley is set to be a key player for Hibs next term","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Marvin Bartley is set to be a key player for Hibs next term","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457401.1495738569!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/young-hearts-striker-alistair-roy-signs-new-two-year-deal-1-4457291","id":"1.4457291","articleHeadline": "Young Hearts striker Alistair Roy signs new two-year deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495729338000 ,"articleLead": "

Teenage striker Alistair Roy has signed a new two-year contract at Hearts.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457290.1495729333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alistair Roy impressed last season"} ,"articleBody": "

However, fellow youngsters Robbie Buchanan and Dale Baxter are being released from Tynecastle. Roy has extended his deal until 2019 after an impressive season both at under-20 level and on loan at Stenhousemuir.

He has already made two senior appearances for Hearts but was sent on loan to East Stirlingshire and Stenhousemuir in the last two seasons to gain experience.

He is now expected to push for more first-team opportunities at the start of the new campaign.

Midfielders Buchanan and Baxter have been told they are free to leave the Edinburgh club when their contracts expire this summer.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457290.1495729333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457290.1495729333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Alistair Roy impressed last season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Alistair Roy impressed last season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457290.1495729333!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-to-play-dunfermline-in-pre-season-friendly-1-4457030","id":"1.4457030","articleHeadline": "Hibs to play Dunfermline in pre-season friendly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495718720000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs will play Dunfermline in a pre-season friendly, the club have announced.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457028.1495718716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Dylan McGeouch takes on Dunfermline's Kallum Higginbotham during the 1-1 league draw back in April. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Neil Lennon’s men will make the short journey to Fife to take on the Pars on Thursday, July 6. The kick-off time at East End Park is yet to be confirmed.

Hibs have already arranged a friendly with Berwick Rangers on Tuesday, July 11.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4457028.1495718716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4457028.1495718716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs' Dylan McGeouch takes on Dunfermline's Kallum Higginbotham during the 1-1 league draw back in April. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs' Dylan McGeouch takes on Dunfermline's Kallum Higginbotham during the 1-1 league draw back in April. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4457028.1495718716!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-plan-pre-season-trip-to-ireland-1-4456831","id":"1.4456831","articleHeadline": "Hearts plan pre-season trip to Ireland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495713051097 ,"articleLead": "Hearts are planning a pre-season trip to Ireland in July to face teams in both Dublin and Belfast.","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456830.1495713187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro plans to take Hearts to Ireland for pre-season"} ,"articleBody": "

Arrangements are being finalised at the moment for a week-long stay which is likely to include a friendly against Linfield on Saturday, July 8.

The Tynecastle club will spend around four days in the Republic of Ireland from Monday, July 3, and hope to arrange a friendly that midweek in the Dublin area. They will then journey into Northern Ireland for the weekend and should face Linfield before flying home.

Previous pre-season trips to both Northern Ireland and the Republic have proven useful exercises for Hearts under former managers Robbie Neilson, Csaba Laszlo and George Burley.
Head coach Ian Cathro now hopes to take his squad across the Irish Sea to prepare for the start of season 2017/18.

Players will report to Riccarton for the start of pre-season training in mid-June before heading to their training camp for the first week of July. Hearts' competitive matches start in the Betfred League Cup in mid-July, the draw for which takes place on Friday, June 2.

The initial Betfred Cup group stage sees the 40 participating clubs placed into eight groups of five and play four games across five match dates – July 15, 19, 22, 26 and 29 (subject to broadcast selections).

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456830.1495713187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456830.1495713187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ian Cathro plans to take Hearts to Ireland for pre-season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ian Cathro plans to take Hearts to Ireland for pre-season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456830.1495713187!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/christophe-berra-interview-i-ll-lead-hearts-with-character-1-4456210","id":"1.4456210","articleHeadline": "Christophe Berra interview: I’ll lead Hearts with character","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495690250000 ,"articleLead": "

He left Hearts with Russian owners, £30million debt, a burnt-out fax machine and the original revolving door at Riccarton. Christophe Berra has returned to a very different football club.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456208.1495654207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra was involved in a major flashpoint against Hibs in 2009 as Steven Fletcher was red-carded for a late tackle"} ,"articleBody": "

Yesterday, he was unveiled as the new Hearts captain inside the plush Oriam performance centre – overlooking indoor and outdoor training pitches at Scotland’s most prestigious sports facility where the team train. He signed a three-year contract to work for a local Edinburgh owner, under Scottish coaches and financial stability, and play in front of a beautifully modernised Tynecastle Park.

Hearts have changed beyond recognition since selling their then-skipper to Wolverhampton Wanderers for £2.3m in January 2009. It is a major part of the reason he has come back to his formative club after eight and a half years in England.

Another is that his life is also totally transformed. Aged 32, he now bears a few wrinkles on his previously unblemished face. Fatherhood can do that to a man. He is a doting dad to four-year-old Savannah and pleaded with Ipswich Town earlier this month to release him to be nearer his daughter in the Scottish Capital.

The sense of compassion shown by the Ipswich chairman Marcus Evans provided Hearts with next season’s skipper. Berra is quick, imposing and influential. Most of all he is experienced and fully understands the club having come through their youth academy.

He is back where he began as a fresh-faced teenager eager to break into Craig Levein’s 2003/04 Hearts team. Surrounded by a very different landscape, no-one would be against the giant centre-back becoming a figurehead in Ian Cathro’s side.

Yet the more that changes, the more that stays the same. Fans at Tynecastle remain ferociously demanding – as head coach Ian Cathro can testify – and next season’s Edinburgh derbies against Hibs will be no different to those Berra enjoyed ten years ago. His last derby in January 2009 saw then-Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen accuse him of “leaping like a brown trout” to get Steven Fletcher sent off.

“It’s like anywhere. I played at Ipswich, played at Wolves, played for Scotland,” he shrugged. “If you’re not playing well, you get booed. Fans can be fickle. That’s just the way it is. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come here, been made captain and it’s a big responsibility for me on and off the pitch.

“Obviously, off the pitch, I live in Edinburgh and walk the streets. I want to be able to walk those streets with my head held high, having won games and done well – not shying away from people because we’ve lost. I’m 32 now, ready for the responsibility.

“Ipswich had an option on me and, if you’ve read what [manager] Mick McCarthy has said, he wanted to keep me. That was great. I’ve had eight-and-a-half years down there but one of the biggest factors is my daughter because I’ve been away from her for three years.

“I’ve also said that, even when I left Hearts, I kept in touch with results. Even in the changing room at Ipswich for a three o’clock kick-off, I’d be switching the telly over to Scottish football to see the derby. I would get stick for that.

“I come from here, I know what it means to play in those games. No disrespect to Wolves and West Brom or Ipswich and Norwich, but I never had that same feeling in those games.

“Going on the bus to the derby, along Princes Street and down Easter Road, getting people sticking the finger up at you. You’re buzzing because you know what it means to the people.”

Hearts is about more than beating Hibs, however, and recent months have left fans frustrated. The run of poor results since December didn’t escape Berra down in East Anglia. “They didn’t have many of these training facilities last time I was here. It’s changed. The pitch out there is the same but the building, the whole structure, has changed dramatically. Hopefully that’s a sign of the way the club is going – and we can become a force again in Scottish football.

“I spoke to people I know who told me that, off the pitch, the club has never been stronger. It’s now our job to get the performances back on the pitch and start winning games.

“I drove round by the stadium and the new stand is going to look awesome. Hopefully by winning games we can fill it and make it a place that rivals hate to play at.

“The club has changed since I was here, people behind the scenes, physios etc. But that happens.”

Experiences in England allied to 35 Scotland caps give him all the necessary ingredients to don the Hearts captain’s armband once again. Berra played in the Premier League for three of his four and a half years at Wolves. He followed McCarthy to Suffolk in 2013 to become a mainstay of the Ipswich defence.

He is already a vital component in Cathro’s side for next season and is expected to play on the left of a back three, with John Souttar in the centre and Aaron Hughes on the right. Perhaps his biggest asset will be leadership, alongside the likes of Hughes and Don Cowie.

“Character is being in the changing room and when things are down you have to be thick-skinned and keep spirits high,” he said. “On the pitch you have to be a moany b*****d. Scots moan – and that’s fine. People might hate you but that’s fine. It’s all about getting reactions.

“I’m not moaning because I don’t like people, I’m just being moany and that can get the best out of people. You also learn who can take it and who can’t and deal with things accordingly. The manager will know the characters and how to deal with things too.

“I’ve not come here to think it’s easy. I have pride in my performance and I want to do well as an individual but also for the team. I want to help the team to do well and help younger players. Hearts are renowned for bringing young players through and I want to help them. When I came through there were professionals such as Paul Hartley, Steven Pressley and the like. I was a youth player and if I was in the first-team dressing room doing my job, I wouldn’t talk back or look up ..

“Football has changed because a lot of youth players in England don’t have that respect. That’s maybe how society is today. It might be different up here, I don’t know if there are many egos here because the higher the level the bigger the ego.”

Although he missed the harrowing administration process Hearts staff went through in 2013, Berra lived through plenty turmoil as a young player. The Riccarton Three, Vladimir Romanov’s madness and spiralling debt made Riccarton an interesting place to go about your daily business. Berra’s transfer to Wolves, fittingly, kept wolves from the Tynecastle door at that time.

“Someone did play £2.3 million for me so that maybe helped,” he smiled. “When I left it was the last day of the transfer window so it must have been needed and I hope it paid back money invested in me coming up through the youths and into the first-team. Now that I’m back, I want to play well for the club and get back to winning ways.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456208.1495654207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456208.1495654207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Christophe Berra was involved in a major flashpoint against Hibs in 2009 as Steven Fletcher was red-carded for a late tackle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Christophe Berra was involved in a major flashpoint against Hibs in 2009 as Steven Fletcher was red-carded for a late tackle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456208.1495654207!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456209.1495654210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456209.1495654210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Berra battles with Hibs' Lewis Stevenson at Easter Road over ten years ago. The pair will tangle again in the derby next season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Berra battles with Hibs' Lewis Stevenson at Easter Road over ten years ago. The pair will tangle again in the derby next season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456209.1495654210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-star-john-mcginn-aims-to-hit-new-heights-in-premiership-1-4456214","id":"1.4456214","articleHeadline": "Hibs star John McGinn aims to hit new heights in Premiership","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495690236000 ,"articleLead": "

John McGinn is intent on taking his game to a new level when he makes the step up to the Premiership with Hibs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456213.1495654962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn was named Ladbrokes Champonship player of the year"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22-year-old has been happy with his progress since arriving at Easter Road from St Mirren two years ago, but is adamant he still has plenty of scope for improvement. After a Championship-winning campaign in which he admits he didn’t hit the heights of his first year at Hibs, McGinn is hellbent on making a major impact in the top flight next term.

“I don’t feel the past season is the best I’ve played in my career but I still feel as if I’ve been turning in good performances,” he told the Evening News after being named the Ladbrokes Championship player of the season. “My standards were set really high from last season. There have been times over this season where I’ve met those standards, but there have been times where I haven’t. I’m fully aware of that, and next season I’ll be looking to try and take my game a step further at a higher level.

“I’ve been learning a different style of football this season [under Neil Lennon] and I also had the injury around October and November which hampered me. But I got through that and I felt as the season was coming to a close that I was getting stronger, sharper and faster. I’m looking forward to trying to build on that next season.”

McGinn, who has been steadily establishing himself in the Scotland squad over the past 14 months, is striving to become a complete midfielder, capable of excelling in all aspects of the role. “Long term, I feel I can keep going box to box,” he said, when asked how he anticipates his game developing in his peak years. “I feel energetic and fresh, and I feel as if I could run all day. Some managers will view me differently – I think when I go away with the national team I’m viewed more as a deep-lying midfielder, but at Hibs towards the end of the season I was going box to box. The manager’s used me in a few positions this season. I’ve been sitting, I’ve been box to box, and I’ve also played higher up. It’s good that the manager has the confidence and trust in me to play me in different positions. Under Alan Stubbs I was one of the wide players in a narrow midfield diamond, and I also enjoyed that. I could probably play wide midfield as well. It’s good to learn different styles and try and add more variation to my game. I’m quite versatile and I’ll play wherever the manager wants me to play, but I’d say I’m a box-to-box midfielder.”

McGinn, renowned for his high-energy approach, pinpoints composure in front of goal as one of the most obvious ingredients he needs to add to his game after scoring just ten times – five in each season – since joining Hibs. Prior to arriving in Edinburgh, he scored four goals in almost 100 appearances for St Mirren. “I’m learning new sides of the game and I feel as if I’m covered in most bases, but I just need to add goal-scoring to my game,” he said. “I only had one goal up to January of this season. It improved slightly in the second half of the season, but it’s something I’ve been working hard to improve. I find I get into good positions but I don’t compose myself enough. I need to be able to finish it off more than not.

“It’s a bit frustrating that most of my goals come from long range. I was working with [assistant manager] Garry Parker at the start of the season on getting into the box more and I scored a header in the friendly against Motherwell, but that’s the last time I scored one of them. It’s good to have an area like to that to work on. I want to get to double figures next season, and I think I’ve got it in my game to do it. I just want to be a complete midfielder, and I’ll be working every day to try and do that.”

McGinn feels he has become a more rounded athlete since joining Hibs two years ago. The facilities available at East Mains, allied to training on a daily basis with the two heavyweights of East Mains, Marvin Bartley and Darren McGregor, has helped make him a more robust player equipped to hold his own against the most physical opponents. “Physically I’ve come on a lot in the last two years,” he said. “We’ve got a really good sports science department at Hibs. At St Mirren they maybe didn’t have the same resources, but Hibs is a massive club with a lot more staff than St Mirren. I was lucky enough that the first day I walked through the door I met [sports scientist] Craig Flannigan, who’s unfortunately now at Rangers, and [fitness coach] Paul Green, who’s still here. I work really closely with Paul on a regular basis and I feel he’s brought my game on leaps and bounds. He’s getting the best out of me because I feel like I’m improving all the time.

“In the modern game, everyone’s fit, so you just need to try and be even fitter than them. Everything’s so important – your diet, your attitude, even the small things you do before and after training to make your game slightly better. It’s all about the small margins, and every time I go on the pitch I’m feeling stronger and fitter.

“Me and Marv like a good grapple in training, so it’s always good testing yourself against guys like him and Daz. They’re absolute brute men, but I feel as if I can cope alongside that. I’d much rather tackle Marv though because Daz can break you in two. [Martin] Boyle likes to try and stay away from Marv and Daz in training, but I like to go and compete head to head with them. I feel as if I’m as strong as I’ve ever been. I’m in prime condition and hopefully over the summer I can add to that and be even better next season.”

On winning the Ladbrokes award, he said: “It’s good to get personal recognition and after achieving what we’ve attempted to achieve over the past two seasons it’s good to top it off. My team-mates have been brilliant all season. A few of them are as worthy, if not more so, of getting the award. Big Darren McGregor has been terrific and Jason Cummings has scored over 20 goals again. They’ve been different class and thanks go to them for helping me win this.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456213.1495654962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456213.1495654962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn was named Ladbrokes Champonship player of the year","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn was named Ladbrokes Champonship player of the year","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456213.1495654962!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-boss-says-christophe-berra-is-the-start-of-new-team-1-4456076","id":"1.4456076","articleHeadline": "Hearts boss says Christophe Berra is the start of ‘new team’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495690216000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro insists Christophe Berra is the first component of a new Hearts team he is building for next season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456075.1495644308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts heade coach Ian Cathro welcomes Christophe Berra back to Tynecastle"} ,"articleBody": "

The Scotland defender returned to Tynecastle on a three-year deal and was immediately handed the captain’s armband.

Several additional signings will follow over the coming weeks as Cathro rebuilds following a poor second half of last season, which saw the Edinburgh club win only six of 26 matches.

“This is the start of the building of the new team and we’re serious,” said the head coach. “We have to continue doing our work but we’re very serious about what we intend on doing.

“We have a better understanding of exactly what we have to bring and how we have to address the re-balance of the team.

“So we’re in a more informed position. This is just the first step, a very important step, and I’m delighted Christophe is here. It’s important that we’re able to bring the level of player that he is to the club. He’s a player who is completely ready in his stage of life. He’s already been through countless experiences. He’s ready to be a key part and one of the leaders inside what I would call a new team for the next step in the club’s development.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456075.1495644308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456075.1495644308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts heade coach Ian Cathro welcomes Christophe Berra back to Tynecastle","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts heade coach Ian Cathro welcomes Christophe Berra back to Tynecastle","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456075.1495644308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/john-mcginn-continuity-key-for-hibs-in-top-flight-1-4456190","id":"1.4456190","articleHeadline": "John McGinn: Continuity key for Hibs in top flight","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495690205000 ,"articleLead": "

John McGinn believes Hibs can reap the benefits of continuity after retaining the core of the team which has won the Scottish Cup and Scottish Championship title over the past year.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456189.1495652647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn is happy to see so many of his Hibs team-mates sign new deals"} ,"articleBody": "

The contracts of several of Neil Lennon’s players were due to expire this summer, casting an element of doubt over whether or not a squad which had enjoyed such a fruitful period together would remain intact for the step up to the Premiership next term.

However, it has already been confirmed that stalwart quartet Darren McGregor, Marvin Bartley, Lewis Stevenson and David Gray, along with back-up goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw have signed new deals, while Liam Fontaine and Martin Boyle have agreed to stay on.

Fraser Fyvie, Ofir Marciano and Efe Ambrose could also remain at Easter Road, and McGinn, who is under contract for another two years, is thrilled to see that a squad which had formed a strong bond will not require a major summer overhaul.

“From the club’s point of view, it was important to get promotion out of the way first, but I’m delighted to see so many of the boys getting signed up, and hopefully a few more follow,” McGinn told the Evening News. “We’ve got a good nucleus of proven players here who get the club and what it means to the supporters, and I think they enjoy watching us. It’s brilliant that we’ve got the boys signed up, and hopefully we can add more quality.

“Over the last couple of years, there’s been a real feelgood factor about the place – there’s a real connection between everyone right from the chairman, to the cleaners, to the supporters. Everyone involved with the club enjoys being here, and I think it’s important not to just sweep that away and build again. It’s important to keep it together, and we have done this summer. We all get on really well, so hopefully we can add the right types to what’s here.”

McGinn admits he was slightly anxious towards the end of the season about the number of Hibs players due to become free agents, with only six first-team regulars initially committed to the club beyond this summer. The Scotland midfielder takes encouragement from the belief that, after retaining so many familiar faces, Hibs will not be undermined by a major period of summer transition as they embark on their Premiership campaign.

“Towards the end of April, we had a lot of boys going out of contract,” said McGinn, who was yesterday named Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Season. “Me being under contract and seeing the rest of the boys playing for their contracts wasn’t nice. But the promise was there that if we got promoted, the discussions would start, and that’s what happened.

“We’re very fortunate because, if you look at Hearts over the other side of the city, I think they struggled to gel in the second part of the season because they had so many new players flung together.

“We all know each other well and know each other’s strengths and weakness. We’ve really got to know each other over the past couple of seasons, so if we can carry that on into the Premiership, it’ll give us a bit of a boost.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANTHONY BROWN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456189.1495652647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456189.1495652647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn is happy to see so many of his Hibs team-mates sign new deals","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn is happy to see so many of his Hibs team-mates sign new deals","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456189.1495652647!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/former-captain-perry-kitchen-on-his-way-out-at-hearts-1-4456156","id":"1.4456156","articleHeadline": "Former captain Perry Kitchen on his way out at Hearts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495661427000 ,"articleLead": "

Perry Kitchen’s Hearts career is all but over after he was told he will not play regularly next season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456155.1495649236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Perry Kitchen was named Hearts captain last September"} ,"articleBody": "

The American internationalist will now seek a new club having been replaced as captain at Tynecastle by new arrival Christophe Berra.

The Evening News has learned that Kitchen was informed of the decision before Berra signed and is now likely to continue his career elsewhere. He would prefer to remain in Europe but also has a long list of suitors in the United States, where he was previously voted Most Valuable Player with DC United.

The midfielder’s Hearts contract runs until May 2018 but club officials will not be difficult to deal with regarding his transfer. He left DC United for Tynecastle in March 2016 and was appointed captain six months later. However, he has fallen out of the team since Ian Cathro replaced Robbie Neilson as head coach last December.

Berra’s arrival as the new skipper leaves Kitchen on the fringes of the squad and he needs to play regularly to keep his international place with the USA.

Cathro was reluctant to speak publicly about his discussion with the 25-year-old but the player is expected to leave before the new season begins.

“That’s something for us, naturally he’s not had a great time personally having not been in the side as often as any player would have liked but that’s a personal thing,” said Cathro.

“These are things that happen as a team evolves, as a team grows and moves on. This is a natural thing and we all move forward. It’s important that the [captain’s] role is a more constant role and it’s also important that we have a number of players who live their lives like that.” Rangers had declared an interest in signing Berra, who left Ipswich Town earlier this month fully intent on returning to Tynecastle. He believes Hearts can soon challenge for honours in Scotland once again.

“I don’t have an agent but my old agent mentioned there had been some interest from Rangers, although there was never anything on the table,” said the Scotland centre-back.

“To be honest, I always wanted to come back here. I’m from Edinburgh and I know what the club means to the Hearts fans. Even when I left Hearts and was playing down in England I’d always watch the derby games and miss them.

“I always had it in my mind I’d like to finish my career here and hopefully I’ve now got the opportunity. Hopefully, we’re going to get some good players in this summer. I want to get back to cup finals and to challenge at the top end of the table.

“We all know it’s difficult to topple Celtic at the moment but we want to be challenging Aberdeen and Rangers to get back to where we belong, qualifying for Europe.

“I’ve had conversations to the manager and it’s very exciting. We’ve got a vision so now it’s about getting the right players on the pitch who can carry that out.’’

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456155.1495649236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456155.1495649236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Perry Kitchen was named Hearts captain last September","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Perry Kitchen was named Hearts captain last September","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456155.1495649236!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/lower-leagues/tranent-juniors-make-another-final-after-shoot-out-success-1-4456227","id":"1.4456227","articleHeadline": "Tranent Juniors make another final after shoot-out success","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495658634000 ,"articleLead": "

Tranent booked their second final in five days as they knocked out Musselburgh 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw in the Fife and Lothians Cup.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456226.1495658630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Fisher was on target for Tranent"} ,"articleBody": "

Lloyd Fiddler was the spot-kick hero for the visitors after Matty Lynch blazed Burgh’s last penalty over the bar.

Musselburgh opened the scoring on 16 minutes when Michael Moffat lifted the ball over goalkeeper Craig Pucko.

The lead lasted merely a minute, however, as Premier League side Tranent grabbed an equaliser when striker Kenny Fisher followed up the rebound from Kayne Paterson’s effort. Tranent went ahead on 60 minutes. Craig Wojtowycz found Lewis Hawkins, who headed down for Paterson and he finished from a tight angle at the back post.

The visitors had a huge chance to seal their final spot when Paterson met Thomas Waters’ header but saw his effort smack off the woodwork. They were made to pay as substitute Matti King converted Keith Murray’s cross for the equaliser with four minutes remaining to send the match to penalties. Tranent – already in the East of Scotland Cup final – will now face Bo’ness United or Broxburn Athletic, who play in the other semi at Newtown Park on Saturday.

Elsewhere, Bonnyrigg Rose claimed a 5-0 win over Jeanfield Swifts to secure three points and boost their goal difference as they bid to catch Super League leaders Kelty Hearts.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "SCOTT THOMSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4456226.1495658630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4456226.1495658630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kenny Fisher was on target for Tranent","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kenny Fisher was on target for Tranent","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4456226.1495658630!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hibs/hibs-john-mcginn-wins-ladbrokes-championship-player-of-year-award-1-4455801","id":"1.4455801","articleHeadline": "Hibs’ John McGinn wins Ladbrokes Championship player of year award","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1495634832000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs midfielder John McGinn has won the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Year award.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4455870.1495636253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn shows off his award. Pic: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22-year-old Scotland internationalist helped the Easter Road club win promotion to the Premiership by winning the league title.

McGinn, who is the national squad to face England next month in a World Cup qualifier, played 29 times in the league this season and was a driving force in Hibs’ midfield.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4455870.1495636253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4455870.1495636253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "John McGinn shows off his award. Pic: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "John McGinn shows off his award. Pic: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4455870.1495636253!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}