{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"football","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/ian-cathro-admits-hearts-need-a-striker-ahead-of-kyle-lafferty-talks-1-4483941","id":"1.4483941","articleHeadline": "Ian Cathro admits Hearts need a striker ahead of Kyle Lafferty talks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498195841000 ,"articleLead": "

Ian Cathro admits Hearts need to sign another striker as club officials prepare to meet the Northern Ireland forward Kyle Lafferty for talks today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483939.1498152765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Lafferty has scored 20 goals for Northern Ireland"} ,"articleBody": "

Lafferty will sit down with director of football Craig Levein to discuss a possible move to Tynecastle following his release by Norwich City last month. However, Ipswich Town are one of seven other clubs in England and abroad also pursuing the 29-year-old’s signature.

Hearts want him to lead their attack next season but would need to offer a huge deal and make him one of their highest-paid players.

Cathro told the Evening News that strengthening his forward line remains a priority despite the recent arrival of Cole Stockton from Tranmere Rovers.

“It’s an area we’re still looking at. We’re looking at a couple of different parts of the team where we feel we need more strength and different options,” said the Hearts head coach.

“We’ve still got some balancing to do, which we are doing. It’s just going to be a case of being patient and acting professionally. We’ll do what we can do at the right time.”

Lafferty is interested in the prospect of moving back to Scotland after failing to establish himself during three seasons at Norwich.

He spent four years with Rangers between 2008 and 2012 and had spells with Sion in Switzerland and Palermo in Italy before arriving at Carrow Road in June 2014.

He was released at the end of his three-year contract having struggled to hold down a regular first-team place. Norwich loaned him out to the Turkish club Rizespor and to Birmingham City during his time in East Anglia.

Any move to Edinburgh would depend heavily on Lafferty’s salary expectations. More money will be on offer in England and abroad for a forward who has 20 goals in 61 appearances for Northern Ireland – making him their second top scorer of all time behind David Healy.

Lafferty will meet Hearts officials this afternoon to gain a feel for the club before deciding whether to take things further. He is already well acquainted with the Tynecastle assistant coach, Austin MacPhee, who is also part of the Northern Ireland coaching staff.

MacPhee’s relationship with Lafferty could be a key factor if discussions are to progress beyond today’s meeting.

Bringing the player to Edinburgh would be regarded as a genuine coup but, with such strong competition, much will also depend on what kind of deal Hearts can offer Lafferty. Ipswich are keen to take him to Portman Road, whilst the Azerbaijan champions Qarabag have also declared an interest.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483939.1498152765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483939.1498152765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Kyle Lafferty has scored 20 goals for Northern Ireland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Kyle Lafferty has scored 20 goals for Northern Ireland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483939.1498152765!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483940.1498152766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483940.1498152766!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lafferty knows Hearts coach Austin MacPhee well","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lafferty knows Hearts coach Austin MacPhee well","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483940.1498152766!/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/danny-swanson-delighted-to-finally-begin-life-as-a-hibee-1-4483938","id":"1.4483938","articleHeadline": "Danny Swanson delighted to finally begin life as a Hibee","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498195827000 ,"articleLead": "

After the media calls, new kit unveilings and general excitement at signing for his boyhood club, Danny Swanson got down to the real work of being a Hibs player this week as Neil Lennon’s squad returned for pre-season training.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483936.1498152414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Swanson enjoyed meeting his new team-mates at East Mains"} ,"articleBody": "

The midfielder trained with his team-mates for the first time since making the switch to Leith after his St Johnstone contract expired in the summer. While Swanson freely admits the intense conditioning work that pre-season brings isn’t his strong suit, knowing he is fulfilling a lifelong dream has made the prospect of the gruelling summer running far more bearable than in previous seasons.

“Yeah I am,” replied the 30-year-old when asked if he was looking forward to getting on to the East Mains training pitch. “I don’t really look forward to coming back from my holidays but I have been knowing I’m coming here and I’m excited. I never really look forward to pre-season – it’s not really my forte – but was looking forward to meeting the boys and pulling the jersey on. It’s a massive thing for me and I’m really excited for it.”

Swanson also linked up with his old mate Darren McGregor for the first time in a professional capacity. Both Leith lads, the two have been close since their school days, and McGregor’s passion for the club, never mind his own, is what partly convinced Swanson he had to make the move to Easter Road.

“I didn’t play with Darren before turning pro. He was a wee bit older than me but we played for the same club, Leith Athletic,” Swanson explained. “We hung about with each other and Darren was a bit crazy! He’s turned out unbelievably well considering because he was bad, like! He went to high school and then kind of just changed, stuck in and deserves everything he’s got. He’s worked really hard and he’s a great guy.

“Darren was actually at my wee boy’s party and when you speak to him about it, he loves the club and you can just feel it and you’re like ‘aye, alright Darren’ ... But then I spoke to him at the party and he said ‘you’ll regret it if you never do it’ and having that wee conversation with him sort of sent it home for me. I’m not going to lie, I was a wee bit jealous of him going up to lift the Scottish Cup with Hibs. Obviously I was delighted for him as well but there was a wee bit of jealousy there.”

Did Swanson pester his pal to put a word in with Neil Lennon? “I was saying to him ‘go speak to your manager!’ but thankfully it all worked out in the end. I’m delighted and looking forward to paying with him as well.”

Now comes the business of proving Lennon’s decision to bring Swanson ‘home’ was a good one. The Hibs boss has gone on record that he feels his team should be challenging for second spot in the Ladbrokes Premiership. While Swanson didn’t go into such specifics, he was glad to hear his manager aiming high.

“It’s something I’m delighted he’s come out and said,” admitted the former Dundee United man. “I’m not here to just finish in the top six. It would still be an achievement if we do that, but I’m a very ambitious person as well. This club deserves to be up there and over the years it hasn’t been. There’s been a lot of bad times at Hibs, but there’s a good feel about it at the moment. Everybody’s buying season tickets that I know and it’s just a club on the up.”

The Ladbrokes Premiership fixtures were set to be announced today, and there are no prizes for guessing that Swanson will immediately be marking down when he’ll be facing his former Tynecastle team-mates in his first Edinburgh derby.

“I can’t wait,” he enthused. “I’m looking forward to it because I’ve still got a lot of friends at Hearts. Its something you dream about as a kid, isn’t it? Darren has done it and now I want to do it now.”

Does he trust himself to ‘keep the heid’ given his previous? “I think I’ve done that every time I’ve played Hearts apart from when I got sent off [Swanson was a shown a straight red card for a foul on Eggert Jonsson in March 2009] the second time I played them,” he recalled. “That was just through being a daft young boy and I got well told by [then United manager] Craig Levein after that. Ever since then I’ve channelled it in the right ways and I’ve always done well against Hearts, so hopefully that continues.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ROSS PILCHER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483936.1498152414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483936.1498152414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Danny Swanson enjoyed meeting his new team-mates at East Mains","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Danny Swanson enjoyed meeting his new team-mates at East Mains","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483936.1498152414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483937.1498152419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483937.1498152419!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Swanson will link up with Darren McGregor, the pair first knocking around in their school days","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Swanson will link up with Darren McGregor, the pair first knocking around in their school days","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483937.1498152419!/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-in-50-objects-no-9-1895-6-team-which-defeated-all-1-4483894","id":"1.4483894","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects: No.9 – 1895/6 team which defeated all","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498195847000 ,"articleLead": "

The all-conquering Hearts team of season 1895/96, which won the Scottish Cup, Roseberry Charity Cup, Edinburgh League, and McCrae Cup. This side is regarded as one of the finest ever in Tynecastle history, underlined by their achievements in a remarkable campaign.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483893.1498151860!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The team proudly paraded their trophies"} ,"articleBody": "

The icon of the team was the legendary defender Isaac Begbie but forwards Willie Michael and Johnny Walker also played key roles and contributed hatfuls of goals week after week as Hearts stormed their way around Scotland.

Their cup record stood second to none and their efforts in the 1896 Scottish Cup final ensured the players’ names entered Scottish football folklore. At Logie Green in Edinburgh, in the only Scottish Cup final ever to be played outside Glasgow, Hearts beat their Edinburgh rivals Hibs 3-1 with goals from Davie Baird, Alex King and Michael. The date was March 14, and the crowd is listed as 17,034.

A report of the game ended with the following note: “The cheering which followed this point was something terrific. Hats, sticks, and handkerchiefs were thrown wildly in the air. Soon after the whistle blew, leaving Hearts winners of one of the best games ever seen in a final. The victory, it might be said, was popular in every sense of the word. Those who witnessed the demonstration following upon the third point will not readily forget it. It is satisfactory to note that everything passed off without a single hitch.”

That all-Edinburgh encounter would be the last in the national cup final until, of course, the clubs met in the 2012 final at Hampden when Hearts recorded a famous 5-1 victory.

Strangely, given their cup record, Hearts finished fourth in a ten-team Scottish First Division that season. Celtic were champions ahead of Rangers in second spot and Hibs in third.

The season ended with more silverware, though, as the Roseberry Charity Cup, Edinburgh League, and McCrae Cup were all taken back to Tynecastle. All the trophies are visible in the team photograph. It is worth noting that there was no manager back then as the team was selected by committee, like many other clubs at the time.

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483893.1498151860!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483893.1498151860!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The team proudly paraded their trophies","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The team proudly paraded their trophies","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483893.1498151860!/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-in-50-objects-no-9-coronation-cup-award-1-4483892","id":"1.4483892","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.9 – Coronation Cup award","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498195818000 ,"articleLead": "

The Coronation Cup was a one-off football tournament to celebrate the coronation of the current Queen played between four Scottish and four English clubs, held in Glasgow in May 1953.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483891.1498151757!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The awards given to the Hibs players"} ,"articleBody": "

Hibs, Rangers, Celtic and Aberdeen represented Scotland with Manchester United, Newcastle United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur coming from south of the border.

Like the Empire Exhibition Trophy played in 1938 to commemorate the exhibition then underway in Bellahouston Park, it was held in very high regard by the clubs as at the time because it allowed teams to test themselves against opponents from another country in the days before European football.

The Famous Five were very much to the fore against their English opponents, Gordon Smith scoring in a 1-1 draw against Spurs before a Lawrie Reilly double was enough to win the replay 2-1. Reilly was again on target as Newcastle United were routed 4-0, Bobby Johnstone scoring once and Eddie Turnbull twice.

The final against Celtic, invited partly because their presence would guarantee large crowds – supported by the fact there were 117,000 at Hampden – was Hibs’ fourth game in just nine days and perhaps took its toll as the Glasgow club won 2-0. Each player was presented with a trophy, this one given to Jock Govan, as was the plaque of a ship which was gifted to all players following a friendly with Belgium at Hampden in 1948 when five Hibs players were in the team.

Govan was joined in that side by Easter Road team-mates Davie Shaw, Smith, Bobby Combe and Turnbull while, remarkably, only one Old Firm player was included, Rangers’ George Young who was Scotland captain.

Combe opened the scoring in the 2-0 win in the first half with East Fife’s David Duncan adding the second in the 59th minute.

Scotland: Jimmy Cowan (Morton), Govan, Shaw, William Campbell (Morton), Young, Smith, Combe, Johnston (Clyde), Turnbull, Duncan.

• For information on Easter Road Stadium Tours, contact bmcgoldrick@hibernianfc.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483891.1498151757!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483891.1498151757!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The awards given to the Hibs players","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The awards given to the Hibs players","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483891.1498151757!/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-make-move-for-northern-ireland-striker-kyle-lafferty-1-4483503","id":"1.4483503","articleHeadline": "Hearts make move for Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498137494282 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will meet Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty tomorrow to discuss a possible move to Tynecastle.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483502.1498137602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts want former Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty to lead their attack next season"} ,"articleBody": "

Initial talks with the 29-year-old will take place in Edinburgh, although Ipswich Town are one of seven other clubs in England and abroad also competing for his signature.

Lafferty was released by Norwich City last month and is interested in the prospect of moving back to Scotland. He spent four years with Rangers between 2008 and 2012 and has since played in Switzerland, Italy, England and Turkey.

Hearts want him to lead their attack next season but would need to offer a deal to make him one of their highest-paid players. More money will be on offer in England and abroad for a forward who has 20 goals in 61 appearances for Northern Ireland - making him their second top scorer of all time.

Lafferty will meet Hearts officials to gain a feel for the club before deciding whether to take things further. He is already well acquainted with the Tynecastle assistant coach, Austin MacPhee, who is also part of the Northern Ireland coaching staff.

Bringing the player to Edinburgh would be regarded as a genuine coup but, with such strong competition, much will depend on Lafferty's salary demands. Ipswich are keen to take him to Portman Road, whilst the Azerbaijan champions Qarabag have also declared an interest.

" ,"byline": {"email": "barry.anderson@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Barry Anderson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483502.1498137602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483502.1498137602!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts want former Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty to lead their attack next season","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts want former Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty to lead their attack next season","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483502.1498137602!/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/new-leith-athletic-bosses-will-be-given-time-to-rebuild-1-4483897","id":"1.4483897","articleHeadline": "New Leith Athletic bosses will be given time to rebuild","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498195810000 ,"articleLead": "

New Leith Athletic joint-manager Leighton Jones has revealed he has been tasked with rebuilding a team capable of challenging for the East of Scotland League title within the next “two to three years”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483896.1498152001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Only four members of the first-team squad which won the King Cup last season have decided to stay"} ,"articleBody": "

New Leith Athletic joint-manager Leighton Jones has revealed he has been tasked with rebuilding a team that is capable of challenging for the East of Scotland League title within the next “two to three years”.

Jones has been appointed alongside Steve Chalmers following Derek Riddel’s decision to quit the club last month after a nine-year stint.

The management team, who have been promoted from the club’s under-21 side, have only been able to persuade four first-team players from last season to stay on under the new regime.

The Meadowbank side were crowned league champions in 2016 but narrowly missed out on the title to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale last month. And now Jones insists there will be a new mindset when the season kicks off on Saturday, July 29.

“The nucleus of Derek’s squad were ready to move on but they’re moving on for the right reasons and they go with our best wishes,” he said. “But we have players from the under-21s who are ready to step up so it’s very much going to be a new-look team.

“Everybody was out to beat us in the under-21s so the guys will now very much be the underdogs this time around which gives us a wee bit of breathing space. The committee expects us to build a team that is capable of challenging for the league title within the next two to three years. They are keen to see the young guys at Leith given first-team opportunities.”

Chalmers, meanwhile, is looking forward to the inclusion of Junior Super League champions Kelty Hearts.

“With Kelty coming in it throws a bit of a curveball,” Chalmers said. “It’s certainly going to make the league a lot more interesting. There’s no pressure on us and we are realistic in that we’re going to have to find our feet again. But we want to continue the good work done by Derek.”

Mervyn Jones, Leighton’s father, and Steve McNally, have also joined the club’s first-team coaching set-up.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NEIL McGLADE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483896.1498152001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483896.1498152001!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Only four members of the first-team squad which won the King Cup last season have decided to stay","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Only four members of the first-team squad which won the King Cup last season have decided to stay","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483896.1498152001!/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/livingston-re-sign-hearts-striker-nikolay-todorov-on-loan-1-4483856","id":"1.4483856","articleHeadline": "Livingston re-sign Hearts striker Nikolay Todorov on loan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498149728000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts have agreed to send 20-year-old Bulgarian forward Nikolay Todorov back to Livingston on a season-long loan.

" ,"articleBody": "

Manager David Hopkin was delighted to see Todorov return to West Lothian after a successful loan there between January and May this year.

His four goals contributed to Livingston’s League One title win and he is now back for their Championship return.

“I don’t need to go into to much detail regarding Niko as all our fans will know what he can bring to the team,” said Hopkin.

“He scored four vital goals for us last season and I’m sure he will score a few more this season in the Championship. Over the summer Niko has been capped at Under-21 level by Bulgaria, playing against Georgia and Greece, and we were delighted for him. I’m really looking forward to watching Niko play in the Championship.”

Former Hearts players Scott Robinson and Dale Carrick are also part of the Almondvale squad for next season. “The squad is coming together nicely and I have one or two potential deals nearing fruition. If we can pull them off I will be delighted,” added Hopkin.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/sport/football/hearts/hearts-to-face-livingston-in-opening-pre-season-friendly-1-4483836","id":"1.4483836","articleHeadline": "Hearts to face Livingston in opening pre-season friendly","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498148602000 ,"articleLead": "

Hearts will face Livingston next Saturday in their first match of pre-season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483835.1498198497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro will take his team to play Championship new boys Livingston"} ,"articleBody": "

Ian Cathro’s men will take on the League One champions at the Tony Macaroni Arena on July 1 (kick-off 3.00pm).

Admission on the gate will be £15 for adults, £10 for concessions and £5 for children.

Hearts will head to Dublin two days later where they will play St Patrick’s on July 4 before facing Linfield in Belfast on July 8.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483835.1498198497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483835.1498198497!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro will take his team to play Championship new boys Livingston","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts head coach Ian Cathro will take his team to play Championship new boys Livingston","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483835.1498198497!/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/news/msps-bid-to-scrap-offensive-behaviour-at-football-act-1-4483407","id":"1.4483407","articleHeadline": "MSPs bid to scrap Offensive Behaviour at Football Act","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498133975000 ,"articleLead": "

A bid to scrap a controversial law aimed at tackling sectarian behaviour at football has been officially lodged at the Scottish Parliament.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483404.1498133972!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MSPs have launched a bid to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. Picture; John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

James Kelly has brought forward a Member’s Bill to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act.

The Labour MSP said he is “confident that next season will be the final football season with this poor piece of legislation in place”.

The law came into force in 2012 after the SNP used its majority in the last Scottish Parliament to pass the Act despite a lack of support from other parties.

After losing its majority at the 2016 Holyrood election, the SNP suffered a symbolic defeat on the law when the Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs united in November to back a motion calling for its repeal by 64 votes to 63.

Mr Kelly’s public consultation on his Member’s Bill found 71% of respondents support scrapping the Football Act.

Speaking ahead of formally launching the Bill at Cathkin Park in Glasgow, Mr Kelly said: “The SNP’s Football Act is now approaching injury time.

“My bid to scrap the Act has now been formally introduced and I am hopeful we can see a vote on it this year.

“As it stands, I am confident that next season will be the final football season with this poor piece of legislation in place.

“SNP ministers were arrogant to bulldoze this law through Holyrood in the first instance.

READ MORE: Thousands back repeal of Offensive Behaviour at Football act

“Every other party opposed it. Academics, lawyers, football clubs and football fans opposed it, yet the SNP wouldn’t listen and used its majority in the Scottish Parliament to railroad the Football Act through.

“Having lost that majority, having seen the clear public support for repeal through the consultation process, and then having been sent a clear message by the Scottish electorate last week to get back to the day job, the SNP really needs to wake up to how unpopular this law is.”

Parliament officials will next week agree a timetable for debating the Member’s Bill next week, with the first vote likely to happen before the end of the year.

Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Annabelle Ewing said: “This Government stands on the side of the many tens of thousands of football supporters who want to enjoy watching our national game with family and friends in an atmosphere that is not tainted by offensive, abusive and prejudicial behaviour.

“Threatening and offensive behaviour associated with football continues to be a problem in Scotland and a key job of Government is to provide police and prosecutors with the powers to tackle it.

“They used the Act 377 times in 2016/17 alone to deal with actions that the vast majority of football fans, and the wider public, consider unacceptable and repealing it in the absence of a viable alternative demonstrates contempt for those targeted.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483404.1498133972!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483404.1498133972!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "MSPs have launched a bid to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. Picture; John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "MSPs have launched a bid to scrap the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. Picture; John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483404.1498133972!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4483406.1498133977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4483406.1498133977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Police at Hampden. Picture; Michael Gillen","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Police at Hampden. Picture; Michael Gillen","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4483406.1498133977!/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/news/former-hearts-linked-businessman-launches-anti-brexit-push-1-4482972","id":"1.4482972","articleHeadline": "Former Hearts-linked businessman launches anti-Brexit push","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498119708000 ,"articleLead": "

An Edinburgh businessman who was once linked with a takeover of Heats has launched a petition in a bid to change Brexit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4479658.1498119709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of protocol changes the EU and British flags prior to the start of Brexit negotiations. Picture: AP/Virginia Mayo"} ,"articleBody": "

Peter McGrail, who was one of the most vocal opponents of controversial turn-of-the-century plan to move Hearts to Murrayfield wants a multi-option referendum to overhaul the result of last year’s Brexit vote.

READ MORE: Brexit dominates Queen’s Speech

McGrail’s brother Robert once co-owned an 18 per cent stake in the Edinburgh club, but sold his shares during the takeover by Lithuanian businessman Vladimir Romanov.

McGrail’s petition, on the Change.Org site, calls on the UK Government to allow another referendum to take place in the Autumn of this year.

In his statement, Mr McGrail says: “We must all sign this petition to demand that there be a new referendum in September 2017.

READ MORE: Sturgeon calls for inclusive Brexit approach

“We can make it happen, the young, the not so young and the very not so young.

“We ask that a new referendum is held and that we are given three options to chose from: ‘Stay, ‘Stay but Reform”, or Leave.”

Mr McGrail, 60, who describes himself as a Remain voter, is still a Director of a number of capital-based companies.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party who are currently proposing what has been called a re-run of the 2016 vote.

Their outgoing leader, Tim Farron, argued at the General Election that the people should be given the final say on a deal between Britain and the other countries in the EU.

The negotiations to thrash out that deal got underway this week, with the UK immediately caving in on their previously stated demand that a ‘divorce deal’ and a new trade arrangement could be agreed simultaneously.

Mr McGrail’s petition has attracted a modest 12 signatures so far, and isn’t eligible for a potential debate as it isn’t hosted on the parliament’s main petitions site.

A petition that called for a 60 per cent threshold for the ‘Leave’ side to win the EU referendum was signed by over 4 million people.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Howarth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4479658.1498119709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4479658.1498119709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A member of protocol changes the EU and British flags prior to the start of Brexit negotiations. Picture: AP/Virginia Mayo","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A member of protocol changes the EU and British flags prior to the start of Brexit negotiations. Picture: AP/Virginia Mayo","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4479658.1498119709!/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/ofir-marciano-on-verge-of-clinching-permanent-hibs-switch-1-4482968","id":"1.4482968","articleHeadline": "Ofir Marciano on verge of clinching permanent Hibs switch","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498119644000 ,"articleLead": "

Hibs expect to finally clinch a deal to sign Israeli international goalkeeper Ofir Marciano early next week.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482967.1498119905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ofir Marciano starred for Hibs last season. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

Keep up to date with all our sport news on The Scotsman’s Sport page on Facebook

The 27-year-old returned to his parent club FC Ashdod following a season on loan at Easter Road, keeping 12 clean sheets in 28 appearances as he helped win the Championship title and a return to Premiership football. But both Marciano and Hibs boss Neil Lennon expressed the desire to strike an agreement allowing the player to return to Scotland on a permanent basis, prompting negotiations between the two clubs which have been ongoing for several weeks.

Marciano, capped 11 times, has a year of his contract with Ashdod to run and his club want a transfer fee to reflect that fact although he spent the previous season also out on loan at Belgian club Royal Excel Mouscon.

Reports in Israel have suggested a fee of ¤150,000 has been agreed with the deal also subject to a sell-on clause but the Evening News understands the final formalities have yet to be concluded. Marciano’s arrival last summer was delayed by red tape hat saw him miss Hibs’ first six matches of the season before he finally made his debut in a 4-0 win over Morton.

However, the Capital club don’t expect any such problems this time with the hope being they will be able to “get things over the line” early next week.

Marciano will return to again be Lennon’s first-choice goalkeeper but he faces competition from Ross Laidlaw, last season’s understudy who played a total of 17 games as Hibs waited for the Israeli to arrive and in two spells when he was ruled out by injury.

Former Raith Rovers goalkeeper Laidlaw, initially signed on a one-year contract, was one of seven out of contract players who quickly agreed new two-year deals while Marciano’s former Ashdod team-mate Efe Ambrose did likewise after spending the final few months of last season on loan from Celtic.

READ MORE - Analysis: Why keeping Ofir Marciano is vital for Hibs next season

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482967.1498119905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482967.1498119905!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ofir Marciano starred for Hibs last season. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ofir Marciano starred for Hibs last season. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482967.1498119905!/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/lennard-sowah-joins-polish-side-ks-cracovia-1-4482909","id":"1.4482909","articleHeadline": "Lennard Sowah joins Polish side KS Cracovia","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498114977000 ,"articleLead": "

FORMER Hearts left-back 
Lennard Sowah has joined KS Cracovia in the Polish top flight.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482908.1498114977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lennard Sowah spent five months at Tynecastle before his release. Picture: Ian Georgeson"} ,"articleBody": "

Sowah was the first of nine signings Ian Cathro made in January, going on to play 22 times for the Jam Tarts.

But the 24-year-old, who joined from Hamilton, was released in the summer as Cathro began reshaping his squad.

The German, who has signed a one year-deal, said: “Before I made the decision I sat down with my family to discuss it and we all felt it would be good for me. I don’t know much about the Polish league but I know Cracovia is a big team.

“And I just had a feeling this would be the right decision for me. Now I just want to start playing and give my best.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482908.1498114977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482908.1498114977!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lennard Sowah spent five months at Tynecastle before his release. Picture: Ian Georgeson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lennard Sowah spent five months at Tynecastle before his release. Picture: Ian Georgeson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482908.1498114977!/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-in-50-objects-no-8-the-1906-cup-final-ball-1-4482559","id":"1.4482559","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects: No.8 – The 1906 Cup Final ball","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498109458000 ,"articleLead": "

Footballs weren’t always the bright, jazzy, cushioned sphericals they are nowadays.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482558.1498061709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The ball has been well used"} ,"articleBody": "

This is the battered and bruised match ball from the 1906 Scottish Cup final, in which Hearts beat Third Lanark 1-0 thanks to a goal from George Wilson with just nine minutes remaining.

The final took place at Ibrox Stadium in front of a reported crowd of 30,000. Unusually, the Hearts players wore a blue kit. Third Lanark were in red and that meant Hearts’ traditional maroon strip would have led to a colour clash, so they were forced into a change.

Footballs from that era were heavy, leather objects which were brown in colour.

The leather panels were hand-stitched together and, by look of this one, it dealt with a fair deal of stress before being consigned to storage.

Hearts had the legendary Bobby Walker in their team that day, April 28, 1906, and were captained by Charlie Thomson. Those two were seen at the front of the club’s brake carriage as it returned to Edinburgh with the Scottish Cup.

Thomson held the trophy aloft as the streets became crammed with people cheering and celebrating the success, whilst Walker held the silver cover. The match ball was also brought back to the Capital and is still one of many items cherished from Hearts’ history.

Hearts finished second to Celtic in the league that season but knocked them out on their way to Scottish Cup success. They eliminated Nithsdale Wanderers by a 4-1 scoreline in the first round before a 3-0 victory over Beith in the next round.

They met Celtic in the quarter-final at Parkhead and won 2-1 despite falling 1-0 behind after half an hour. A 2-0 triumph over Port Glasgow Athletic in the semi-final took them through to meet Third Lanark in the season’s showpiece match.

Hearts further demonstrated their fondness for cup competitions that year by winning the East of Scotland Cup and East of Scotland Shield. At the time, they were regarded as the equal of Celtic and Rangers as their team contained several Scottish internationalists and players who played for the Scottish League Select team.

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482558.1498061709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482558.1498061709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The ball has been well used","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The ball has been well used","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482558.1498061709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482566.1498061711!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482566.1498061711!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482566.1498061711!/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-boss-won-t-let-lewis-stevenson-testimonial-be-a-stroll-1-4482625","id":"1.4482625","articleHeadline": "Hibs boss won’t let Lewis Stevenson testimonial be a stroll","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498109443000 ,"articleLead": "

Lewis Stevenson believes his testimonial match against Sunderland will play a key part in Hibs’ preparations for the new season, insisting boss Neil Lennon won’t allow it to become no more than a training session.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482624.1498063323!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon"} ,"articleBody": "

The Black Cats visit Easter Road on July 9 to mark Stevenson’s 12 years as a first-team player with the club and the left back predicted that, although they’ve been relegated to the English Championship, Sunderland still present a stiff test for him and his team-mates.

It will be only Hibs’ second pre-season match following a trip across the Forth to face Dunfermline three days earlier, one of just three such games Lennon’s players will play before beginning their Betfred Cup campaign at home to Montrose on Saturday, July 15, the tie preceded by the now annual visit to Berwick Rangers on the Tuesday of that week.

Stevenson, who has agreed a new two-year deal, said: “They are obviously a big club so it’ll be a good test for us and it’ll get us ready for what’s going to be a tough season. Even although it’s a testimonial it’s still a big game for us.

“We need to prepare for the season and I’m sure the manager won’t be in the frame of mind to be giving me penalties and stuff like that. I’m looking forward to it.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482624.1498063323!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482624.1498063323!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs head coach Neil Lennon","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482624.1498063323!/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-in-50-objects-no-8-model-of-the-old-easter-road-1-4482561","id":"1.4482561","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.8 – Model of the old Easter Road","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498109431000 ,"articleLead": "

Easter Road looks very different today than it did nearly 70 years ago when it bulged at the seams hosting what is still the record crowd for a Scottish football match played outside Glasgow.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482560.1498061555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Easter Road Stadium as it once looked"} ,"articleBody": "

Hibs had played their first league match at Easter Road in 1893 but only secured their long-term tenure of the ground on a 25 year lease in 1922, allowing them to redevelop the stadium.

Two years later three banks of terracing were raised with a main stand boasting a capacity of 4480 built on the west side, the move meant the pitch moved 40 yards to the east to provide space for it while the famous slope was reduced to about six feet.

Hibs enjoyed great success in the period following the Second World War, winning three league titles between 1948 and 1952.

But on January 2, 1950, Easter Road was to host the largest-ever crowd to watch a Scottish football match outside of Glasgow, 65,850 turning out for the New Year visit of Hearts.

It was a much-anticipated game, Hibs going into it having won 11 out of their previous 12 games, the other being a draw at Parkhead where Celtic scored in the last minute while Hearts were also on a good run, winning their previous ten games. Hearts came from behind to win 2-1.

Although the capacity of the redeveloped Easter Road was 45,000, supporters were tightly packed in, prompting Hibs to increase the size of the already towering east terrace even further.

Plans were even draw up to expand the overall capacity to nearly 100,000 by raising each of the end terraces to the same height, but they were never realised.

The Safety of Sports Grounds Act introduced in 1975 reduced the capacity to 30,000 and it dropped again to 27,000 in the mid-1980s when the east terrace was greatly reduced and a roof erected.

Two new stands were built at a cost of £8 million at either end of the ground in 1995, cutting capacity to 16,531, a figure which was increased when the new west stand opened in 2001.

The redevelopment of the stadium, which had begun 15 years earlier, was finally completed in the summer of 2010 when the new east stand was completed, bringing today’s capacity to 20,421. In February, Hibs came close to reaching that figure, a crowd of 20,205 turning up for their 3-1 Scottish Cup replay win against Hearts.

• For information on Easter Road Stadium Tours, contact bmcgoldrick@hibernianfc.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482560.1498061555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482560.1498061555!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Easter Road Stadium as it once looked","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Easter Road Stadium as it once looked","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482560.1498061555!/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/at-times-i-thought-about-quitting-game-lewis-stevenson-1-4482609","id":"1.4482609","articleHeadline": "At times, I thought about quitting game – Lewis Stevenson","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498109418000 ,"articleLead": "

Lewis Stevenson will proudly lead Hibs out early next month to face Sunderland in a testimonial match to mark his unstinting service to the Easter Road club, 362 matches in the green and white and still counting.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482606.1498062728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Popular Italian family restaurant group Vittoria are to sponsor Lewis Stevensons testimonial match against Sunderland"} ,"articleBody": "

But, as he returned for the hard slog of pre-season training yet again, he revealed there have been plenty of times over the years when he was tempted to turn his back on football.

Today, though, he’s happy that with the help of family and friends he stuck at it, now the only Hibs player to have won both the Scottish and League Cups, while he also has a Championship winner’s medal to his name.

Thrust into the first team by Tony Mowbray in 2005, a callow, unknown 17-year-old facing Ayr United at Somerset Park, Stevenson admitted he could be regarded as something of an “accidental footballer”.

In a typically self-effacing interview, the left-back said: “When I was younger I never had my heart set on being a footballer. It kind of just happened, not something I ever imagined I’d be able to do.

“When I played my first game against Ayr I would never have imagined getting a testimonial – it never crossed my mind.

“I’ve never taken anything for granted and I never imagined I would be at a club like this for so long. I still have to pinch myself sometimes.”

There have been, however, moments of self-doubt, so much so that he would gladly have turned his back on the game only to be persuaded otherwise.

The 29-year-old said: “There have been times, to be honest, when I’ve thought about jacking football in.

“All you see is the stuff on the pitch but there is so much off the pitch that does take its toll on you. The mental aspect of football is a massive thing and I think that defeats as many people as ability or physicality.

“It was probably the worst a couple of years after I came into the team. There were just times when I wasn’t enjoying it.

“I didn’t think I was giving enough to the team, didn’t think I was doing myself justice. There are ups and downs in football. I’ve had my fair share.

“I don’t know what I would have done outside of football but there are times when I lost faith. I still don’t know what I’m going to do after football so there’s no point asking me what I would have done back then.”

If Stevenson had moments when he lost his self-belief then those closest to him have shown faith, as have successive managers, current boss Neil Lennon his ninth.

Asked who believed in him in those dark moments, he said: “Probably my family and my coaches. I maybe just doubt myself more than other people.

“It’s probably just a stress thing. Every time you get to the end of your contract people are asking you ‘what’s happening’ and your future is right up in the air.

“Probably the easiest option for me would have been to just turn my back on it all and try something else. But I stuck with it. Two cups and a league title later, I’m happy to have done so.

“The last few years are probably the best I’ve had as a player. When you are enjoying it, that’s when you play your best.”

One of the quieter characters in the dressing-room, Stevenson admitted he was already getting nervous at the thought of leading his team-mates on his big day on July 9, revealing he can be envious of his more cocky team-mates.

He said: “Even at boys’ club football I was never like that. I’ve got a wee boy now and I tell him to forget about being a defender, you get no thanks for it. Be a striker and get all the glory.

“You can only be who you can be. I would love to be the guy who is happy being the centre of attention . . . there again, maybe I wouldn’t.”

Each and every one of Stevenson’s managers have described him as a model pro, someone they can rely on just to get on with things and never rock the boat.

Stevenson is happy enough with that but added: “It would be nice for someone to say I’m a good player who does well for the team, rather than just a good guy.

“You need different types of characters in the changing-room. I’m never going to be the player who leads everyone. But I see myself as a pretty good follower.”

Hibs head into the new season without one of those “characters”, the larger-than-life Jason Cummings having left for Nottingham Forest in exchange for a seven-figure sum.

The sight of a team-mate departing is something Stevenson has experienced on numerous occasions, watching the likes of Kevin Thomson, Scott Brown, Steven Whittaker, Steven Fletcher and plenty of others move on but, as much as it might seem the end of the earth to some fans at the time, as he pointed out, life goes on.

He said: “Jason will be a big miss, not just on the pitch but definitely off it. He’s a great character, and he’ll be missed. There’s not a better person in the changing-room that you’d want to go on and be successful in his career.

“The type of club Hibs is, if a big bid comes in we’re going to have to sell, that’s the nature of football.

“Obviously, people will worry about where the goals are going to come from but we’ve always managed to find another gem or a hidden talent that’s going to come through and step up.”

• Popular Italian family restaurant group Vittoria, which owns award-winning establishments throughout Edinburgh, are to sponsor Lewis Stevenson’s testimonial match against Sunderland and provide catering, featuring the “Lewy La Favorita Pizza”, for hospitality guests. Stevenson’s shirt number is 16. Hospitality packages can be bought by visiting eticketing.co.uk/HibernianFC or calling 0131 656 7077.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482606.1498062728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482606.1498062728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Popular Italian family restaurant group Vittoria are to sponsor Lewis Stevensons testimonial match against Sunderland","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Popular Italian family restaurant group Vittoria are to sponsor Lewis Stevensons testimonial match against Sunderland","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482606.1498062728!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482607.1498062732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482607.1498062732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stevenson, right, made his Hibs debut in a League Cup clash at Ayr in September 2005","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stevenson, right, made his Hibs debut in a League Cup clash at Ayr in September 2005","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482607.1498062732!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482608.1498062734!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482608.1498062734!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lewis Stevenson was man of the match as Hibs won the League Cup in 2007","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lewis Stevenson was man of the match as Hibs won the League Cup in 2007","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482608.1498062734!/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-consider-move-for-a-new-goalkeeper-1-4482617","id":"1.4482617","articleHeadline": "Hearts consider move for a new goalkeeper","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498109402000 ,"articleLead": "

Jack Hamilton’s position as Hearts’ No.1 goalkeeper is under threat ahead of the new season. Tynecastle coaching staff have enquired about signing a new keeper after leaving the Scotland squad member out of the team for the final three games of last season.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482616.1498062964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unlucky for some: Jack Hamilton was handed the No.13 shirt for training"} ,"articleBody": "

Hamilton has been wearing the No.13 training kit since pre-season training began at Riccarton. The No.1 shirt he had last year remains free. Swedish understudy Viktor Noring wore 13 last season but is now using the No.31 kit. He will become third choice if another goalkeeper arrives.

Hamilton was installed as first-choice goalkeeper by former Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson last summer. He played throughout the 2016/17 campaign before dropping to the 
substitutes’ bench for the final three games.

Current head coach Ian Cathro is keen to help Hamilton develop and improve his game along with the club’s goalkeeping coach, Paul Gallacher. However, he stopped short of confirming the 23-year-old as first-choice for the new campaign.

“Everything is up for competition. From day one of pre-season, it’s a blank page for me. Everyone has a fresh start and they need to come in ready to work,” Cathro told the Evening News.

“I think we have to continually remind ourselves that Jack is a young, developing goalkeeper. He has crammed in a lot of different experiences in a short space of time. Jack is a focused guy with a maturity beyond his years.

“He will take value from his involvement with Scotland, particularly in massive matches against England last season. We need to support him to make sure he fulfils his potential as a Hearts goalkeeper.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482616.1498062964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482616.1498062964!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Unlucky for some: Jack Hamilton was handed the No.13 shirt for training","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Unlucky for some: Jack Hamilton was handed the No.13 shirt for training","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482616.1498062964!/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/four-things-hearts-fans-should-know-about-rafal-grzelak-1-4482668","id":"1.4482668","articleHeadline": "Four things Hearts fans should know about Rafal Grzelak","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498064663000 ,"articleLead": "

Last week, Hearts agreed to sign free agent Rafal Grzelak on a two-year-deal. Here, Craig Fowler gives some insight into the Polish arrival.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482667.1498070940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rafal Grzelak, right, with youngster Rory Currie in Hearts training. Picture: SNS"} ,"articleBody": "

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He’s a strong boy

Watching Rafal Grzelak play, you wouldn’t immediately think ‘left-back’. The first thing that stands out is his size. He’s 6ft 1in and carries a broad muscular frame. It’s the body typical of a centre-half rather than a full-back.

There is very little comparison to be made between the player and Hearts previous three starting left-backs. Juwon Oshaniwa, Faycal Rherras and Lennard Sowah were all undersized, quick, agile players. They would try to use their pace to stop opponents getting behind them. Grzelak is more of a wall. He looks to get his body between opposing wingers and their desired direction.

Seeing as none of the previous three left-backs panned out in the manner Hearts would have hoped, perhaps going in a completely different direction is exactly what the club needs - assuming they want to use him at the position, as he can also play in midfield or at centre-back.

He’s fond of a yellow card

Grzelak was joint-first for yellow cards received in the Ekstaklasa in the 2016/17 season. It’s easy to see why when you look at the advanced statistics. He’s not a very strong tackler, as illustrated by his 18.42 per cent success rate, which is pretty poor. However, he does seem to recognise this weakness, making few tackles in total per 90 minutes for a predominantly defensive player.

Instead of sliding in, Grzelak prefers to read the game and stop the opposition without going to ground. He was 29th of all players in Poland’s 16 team top flight last season for interceptions made, and engaged in the third most defensive duels of any player in the league, which would suggest good anticipation, positioning and a keen sense for danger.

READ MORE - What Hearts will be getting in returning defender Christophe Berra

He’s good on the ball

Though he’s not the quickest, and doesn’t have the body shape you’d normally associate with an elusive player, Grzelak is quite an effective dribbler when he gets further forward.

The former Korona Kielce defender ranked sixth among full-backs in the 2016-17 Ekstraklasa with a 75 per cent dribbling success rate. The fact that he attempted more dribbles, by a significant margin, than every other player in the top six makes the statistic all the more impressive.

Despite his size and lack of agility, he’s able to move around opponents with deceptively quick feet and skill. He’ll often draw the defender in, execute a bit misdirection, and then use his size to block off the attempted recovery once he’s got past his man.

In advanced areas his crossing is respectable as well. A 34.78 per cent success rate ranked him 12th among all Ekstraklasa full-backs in the 2016/17 season.

He’s versatile

As previously mentioned, Grzelak can operate in three different positions. Last season he played predominately at left-back (43 per cent of the time), while also filling in at defensive midfield (35 per cent) and occasionally at centre-back (18 per cent).

With his body size, composure on the football and the ease in which he could start attacks, it’s not too difficult to imagine Ian Cathro using the Pole as the left-sided centre-back in a defensive three. Hearts already have Christophe Berra, Aaron Hughes and John Souttar at the position, but with Souttar still recovering from injury and Hughes turning 38 during the season, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a bit more depth.

As a midfielder, he’s got enough technical ability to get by in a deeper role. He probably lacks the dynamism to be an effective box-to-box type, but his strength and stamina should ensure he’s a dependable battler in front of the defence.

READ MORE - What Hearts are getting in striker Cole Stockton

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CRAIG FOWLER"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482667.1498070940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482667.1498070940!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rafal Grzelak, right, with youngster Rory Currie in Hearts training. Picture: SNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rafal Grzelak, right, with youngster Rory Currie in Hearts training. Picture: SNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482667.1498070940!/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/our-region/edinburgh/demolition-of-tynecastle-main-stand-nears-completion-1-4482336","id":"1.4482336","articleHeadline": "Demolition of Tynecastle main stand nears completion","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498055142000 ,"articleLead": "

THE demolition phase of the old main stand at Tynecastle Stadium is nearing completion, a new image reveals.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482334.1498056057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The 1914 Archibald Leitch stand is disappearing fast. Picture: Copyright Heart of Midlothian FC"} ,"articleBody": "

Published yesterday by Hearts FC, the new image reveals just how little remains of Tynecastle’s main stand.

Just six original support pillars and a short section of the 1914 building is left, with the east and west wings of the Archibald Leitch-designed stand already flattened by the bulldozers.

The replacement structure can be seen looming in the background as a Tynecastle Stadium fit for the 21st century begins to take shape.

Mementos from the 103-year-old main stand, including a pair of cast-iron bath tubs from the first team shower room and original iron turnstiles have been put up for auction.

READ MORE: Mementos recovered from Tynecastle main stand to be auctioned

Should everything go to plan, supporters should be able to take their seats in the new stand by the end of August, just a few weeks into the 2017/18 Scottish Premiership season.

Overall completion, which includes fitting out, ancillary works and finishing of hospitality and directors suites is earmarked for 30 March 2018.

Stadium capacity will rise to 20,099, raising the prospect of Tynecastle being able to host its first 20,000+ attendance since a 1-1 draw with Hibs on 12 January 1994. That game attracted 24,139 fans, but within a matter of months the capacity at Hearts’ ground was greatly reduced as the old terraces were swept away to build three new stands.

The club has confirmed that the new=look ground will revert to its old name of Tynecastle Park as part of the £12 million redevelopment.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID MCLEAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482334.1498056057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482334.1498056057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The 1914 Archibald Leitch stand is disappearing fast. Picture: Copyright Heart of Midlothian FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The 1914 Archibald Leitch stand is disappearing fast. Picture: Copyright Heart of Midlothian FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482334.1498056057!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4482335.1498056060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4482335.1498056060!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Picture: Copyright Hearts FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Picture: Copyright Hearts FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4482335.1498056060!/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/our-region/edinburgh/gorgie-and-dalry/mementos-recovered-from-tynecastle-main-stand-to-be-auctioned-1-4481755","id":"1.4481755","articleHeadline": "Mementos recovered from Tynecastle Main Stand to be auctioned","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498032269000 ,"articleLead": "

FOOTBALLERS have used them to wash away the blood, sweat and tears of their efforts on the hallowed turf – now Hearts fans have a rare chance to buy the white and maroon bath tubs used by their heroes.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481752.1498032269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Large Handpainted Wooden toilet sign. Circa 1970's. Picture: Hearts FC"} ,"articleBody": "

A pair of cast-iron bath tubs from the first team shower room at Tynecastle are among a host of unique items being auctioned off to fans this Sunday.

Other items for sale include the original iron turnstiles used by thousands of fans since the stand opened in 1914, cubes of turf and even a plastic owl used to ward off pests.

The unique mementos are among dozens of items from the Archibald Leitch-designed Main Stand at Tynecastle, which is being demolished to make way for a new £12 million structure.

Fans will also have the first opportunity to buy a brick from the main stand.

Hearts said: “The event will give collectors the opportunity to own unique mementos with artefacts and curios to match a variety of budgets.

“The day will be a celebration of the Main Stand and guests can look forward to seeing a number of club legends and tributes throughout.”

The “two large cast iron bath tubs with round feet”, measure 180cm long by 80cm wide and 50cm tall.

Located in the first team shower room since 1985, they would have been used by a multitude of stars.

Six large original metal turnstiles for sale have been “positioned in the Main Stand since 1914”. Still in full working order, they are described as “worn with scratches and marks” from more than a century of letting fans in to the famous old ground.

The Main Stand owl has been hung from the roof of the stand “for many years” to ward off pigeons that might make a mess of the seats below.

Meanwhile, a series of 13 posters from the players’ lounge, featuring legends such as Dave MacKay, Willie Bauld, Drew Busby, Henry Smith and John Colquhoun are also offered.

And fans who want to become as fit as their heroes can bid for a brown leather “medicine ball recovered from the Brown Gymnasium and used by the first team players from the 1950s to the 1990s”.

Supporters could even decorate their homes with a giant maroon Hearts crest that was originally positioned outside of the Gorgie Suite, or large images of their 2012 cup-­winning heroes that greeted players as they ran through the Main Stand tunnel on to the pitch.

Winning bidders could also get the chance to hang in their home door signs indicating “Home Team”, “TV Interview”, “Match Officials”, “Players/Officials” or “Dope Testing” among others.

Large-sized “Ladies Toilet” and “Gentlemen Toilet” signs dating back to the 1970s are also included in the auction.

Another sign for sale warns “No standing”, while one 3m x 30cm sign familiar to supporters through the years proclaims “Thank you for supporting Hearts”.

Jambos fans could sing along to one of three “7-inch vinyl singles of The Hearts Song, recorded and signed by the 1986 squad”, while perusing through signed posters and programmes from famous victories.

More bizarre lots include three lifesize cows that featured in the Cow Parade when it visited Edinburgh in 2006.

Other highlights include worn and signed football tops, the media boards seen behind players and managers in television interviews, crested hospitality suite windows and “quote boards” featuring inspirational words spoken by Hearts heroes including Dave MacKay and Alfie Conn.

The club added: “The auction kicks off at 11am with auctioneer for the day Scott Wilson joined by new club captain Christophe Berra, who will reflect on his days playing in front of the old Main Stand and give us his thoughts on captaining the team in front of the new stand later this year.”

Entry is priced at £10 for adults and £6 for kids. Tickets can be booked by calling 0131-200 7282, 0131-200 7244 or 0131-200 7271.

newsen@edinburghnews.com

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GEORGE MAIR"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481752.1498032269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481752.1498032269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Large Handpainted Wooden toilet sign. Circa 1970's. Picture: Hearts FC","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Large Handpainted Wooden toilet sign. Circa 1970's. Picture: Hearts FC","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481752.1498032269!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481753.1498032270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481753.1498032270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "This owl stood guard over the main stand for years and was used to ward off pests","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "This owl stood guard over the main stand for years and was used to ward off pests","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481753.1498032270!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481754.1498032271!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481754.1498032271!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Large original metal turnstiles positioned in the Main Stand since 1914\\nColours: Dark metal\\n. Pic courtesy of Ray French","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Large original metal turnstiles positioned in the Main Stand since 1914\\nColours: Dark metal\\n. Pic courtesy of Ray French","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481754.1498032271!/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-in-50-objects-no-7-pennant-from-first-european-cup-1-4481452","id":"1.4481452","articleHeadline": "Hibs in 50 objects: No.7 – Pennant from first European Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498023049000 ,"articleLead": "

In the early days of the European Cup, Stade de Reims were one of the finest club sides to grace the continent, thrilling crowds across Europe with their free-flowing, attacking play inspired by the members of the great French side which reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 1958.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481450.1498032059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs took on the stars of Stade de Reims"} ,"articleBody": "

With the goalscoring prowess of Just Fontaine and the iron defence of Armand Penverne and Roger Marche, Reims were a force to be reckoned with in the mid-fifties, however it was the midfield dynamism of the playmaker Raymond Kopa that made the French side such daunting opposition.

By the time Kopa put Hibs to the sword in the semi-final of the first-ever European Cup in 1956, ‘The Little General’ – as he was nicknamed – was on the verge of a move to Real Madrid and just two years away from being awarded the Ballon d’Or.

Hibs’ participation in the inaugural European Cup had already been groundbreaking. In addition to becoming the first British side to play in Europe, Eddie Turnbull’s opening goal in the first-round victory over West German champions Rot Weiss-Essen made him the first British player to score in continental competition.

At the quarter-final stage, Hibs eliminated Swedish champions Djurgardens IF – with the ‘away’ leg famously played at Firhill due to a frozen pitch in Scandinavia – while Reims claimed an 8-6 aggregate victory over Hungarian side Voros Lobogo to set up a clash between two of the best attacking sides in the competition.

With a capacity crowd expected, the first leg in April 1956 was moved from Reims’ Stade Auguste-Delaune to the Parc des Princes in Paris. However, the change of venue did little to overawe the ‘hosts’, with Kopa pulling the strings from midfield.

By contrast, Hibs looked shellshocked from the start and failed to get into their stride as Michel Leblond headed in a 67th minute opener, before Kopa played in Rene Bliard to add a late second and hand Reims the advantage going into the second leg at Easter Road.

The Hibs faithful turned out in their numbers, with almost 45,000 packed into the stadium but again, to their frustration, the home side were unable to break down their French opponents. With Kopa running the show again, Reims sneaked a 1-0 win, progressing to the final 3-0 on aggregate.

In his autobiography ‘Last Minute Reilly’, Hibs forward Lawrie Reilly said the gap between the sides wasn’t as great as the aggregate scoreline suggested. “Even now, 54 years later I can categorically state that the 3-0 aggregate margin greatly flattered Reims,” he wrote. “They were a very good side but we were definitely better than them. We just missed too many opportunities which we would normally have taken, and we weren’t strong enough defensively.”

Reims would narrowly lose out to Real Madrid 4-3 in the final. However, Kopa wouldn’t have to wait long to taste European Cup glory, winning three in a row with the Spanish side between 1957 and 1959.

• For information on Easter Road Stadium Tours, contact bmcgoldrick@hibernianfc.co.uk

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481450.1498032059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481450.1498032059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hibs took on the stars of Stade de Reims","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hibs took on the stars of Stade de Reims","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481450.1498032059!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481451.1498032061!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481451.1498032061!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481451.1498032061!/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/jambos-new-boy-cole-stockton-driven-by-childhood-heartbreak-1-4481346","id":"1.4481346","articleHeadline": "Jambos new boy Cole Stockton driven by childhood heartbreak","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498023042000 ,"articleLead": "

Tattoos down Cole Stockton’s right arm tell a heartrending story. “They are mostly for my dad,” says Hearts’ new striker. “My dad’s initials, and there are quotes from my dad: ‘Do not allow the eye to fool the mind,’ ‘My shining star and inspiration,’ and that is the day my dad died on my birthday.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481344.1497976718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cole Stockton is delighted to be at Hearts and is keen to make his mark. Pic: Lisa Ferguson"} ,"articleBody": "

The 23-year-old endured the toughest time of his life in his teens, losing his father whilst battling septicaemia himself in hospital. It taught him to seize every moment and make the most of every opportunity.

Inspired by his dad, Stephen, he aims to do just that at Tynecastle after signing a two-year contract. “My dad is definitely my inspiration. He passed away with liver failure. That was a hard time in my life,” recalls Stockton. “At the time, I was in hospital with septicaemia. My mum and dad weren’t in a relationship but I would always go and see my dad three times a week. Then I was in hospital at the same time.

“I remember getting a letter from my mum, who would come and go from the hospital. My mum said: ‘There’s a letter from your nan here; your dad’s in hospital.’ I didn’t know he was in hospital. It’s a bit of a mad story. Luckily, I pulled through but I remember the night my dad passed.

“I didn’t know he had passed but that very night I had a dream that I was playing football with him. To me, it’s like he came to me first to say: ‘I’m here for you.’ I went to school two days later and, when I came home after school, my mum said: ‘Listen, your dad has passed.’ He has always inspired me. Everywhere I go, I know he’s there with me.”

Stockton Snr was a Sunday league footballer in Huyton, Merseyside. His son speaks with a strong Scouse accent and is a massive Evertonian who grew up idolising Wayne Rooney. He came through the youth academy at Tranmere Rovers but joined Hearts to further his career beyond England’s National League. He is mindful that he almost didn’t get the opportunity due to illness. “I was critical,” he says. “Scepticaemia is a serious illness. It’s like a blood infection. As a kid you don’t realise how serious it is but being around my mum and seeing her face told me. If I hadn’t got it checked out I’d have probably snuffed it, basically. They said if I hadn’t gone to the hospital within 48 hours I’d have passed out on the couch.

“I was in hospital for just over a month, and I lost around five stone because I wasn’t eating. I tried to get back into football but I wasn’t strong enough, I couldn’t run, physically I wasn’t ready. After a couple of months I began to get there gradually. It was a tough period. I could have gone one way and just thought: ‘It’s done now for me.’ Luckily, I had the right family around me to guide me. I knew what I wanted to do from school and football was always on my mind. So that was my goal.

“I think I was on trial at Tranmere at the time. I was 12 or 13. I remember playing a game and coming off with a sore back, and I didn’t know what it was. I used to play for two teams then so I went and played for my Sunday League team that afternoon. When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t move my left leg.

“I went to the doctors and got MRI scans and that’s when they saw the infection in my groin. Luckily, I got move to Alder Hey hospital and the nurses there were brilliant. I donate to them every month. I can’t thank them enough.

“I’ve been through a lot but I am not one to drag it out or make it a sob story. It just shows it is doable, you know what I mean? I know there are people out there who go through hard times but there are good times out there as well. It definitely shaped me. It made me mentally stronger. It gets you prepared for anything because once you come through that, you can come through anything.”

Stockton’s physique looks as sturdy as his mindset. He is 6ft 1ins tall, decent in the air and carries a powerful shot. He is in Edinburgh with lofty ambitions, too. “Europa League, definitely,” he replies when asked what he wants to achieve with Hearts. “With the players we’ve got here, and maybe if we bring in more, we’ll have a good squad.”

He rejected interest from clubs in England’s League Two to leave Tranmere and move north. One of his suitors were literally in the process of wooing him when Hearts intervened. “I went to meet Carlisle’s manager. That was before I heard about Hearts,” says Stockton.

“When I was going to meet the Carlisle manager, Austin MacPhee [Hearts assistant coach] rang. I had a good chat with Austin who told me a bit about the club. We met in Manchester. We flew up here a week after, met the manager [Ian Cathro] and Craig Levein [director of football]. They showed us round and put us up for the night. Then they took us out for food. First impressions mean the most.

“There were a few other clubs interested but it was about what fitted and suited me better. My eyes lit up when I knew Hearts were interested. My girlfriend said she would move up with me and get a job up here. It is different being away from my family.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been to Scotland but my mum has been brilliant with it and she will be up here every other week.”

Stockton knows this opportunity could be the making of him after a similar working-class upbringing as the aforementioned Rooney.

“I was always out on the streets with my mates, just playing footie, up to no good. It makes you realise how much football means to you.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BARRY ANDERSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481344.1497976718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481344.1497976718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cole Stockton is delighted to be at Hearts and is keen to make his mark. Pic: Lisa Ferguson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cole Stockton is delighted to be at Hearts and is keen to make his mark. Pic: Lisa Ferguson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481344.1497976718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481345.1497976720!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481345.1497976720!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Cole Stockton in training with Don Cowie","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Cole Stockton in training with Don Cowie","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481345.1497976720!/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/anything-better-than-top-six-a-bonus-for-hibs-mcgregor-1-4481315","id":"1.4481315","articleHeadline": "Anything better than top six a bonus for Hibs – McGregor","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498023018000 ,"articleLead": "

Darren McGregor has insisted anything more than a top-six finish should be regarded as a bonus in Hibs’ first season back in the Ladbrokes Premiership.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481314.1497974798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGregor says Premiership teams will be looking forward to sampling Easter Roads atmosphere. Pic: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

Easter Road boss Neil Lennon has already stated his belief that the Capital club can finish “best of the rest” behind Celtic – again odds-on favourites for the title – adamant that there’s no point in not aiming high.

While accepting his manager’s stand-point, McGregor believes a place in the top six would be a good starting point for a squad which has spent the past three seasons in the second tier of Scottish football.

He said: “That’s the gaffer’s opinion and I can sort of see where he’s coming from as manager of the team. But, for a lot of fans, myself included, you really want to be going in and finishing in the top six.

“That’s your benchmark. Yes, you can set your sights higher, but I’m of the firm belief that, with the squad we have got, and hopefully the ‘add-ons’ we get before the end of the season, top six should be the benchmark.

“Anything over and above that would be a bonus for our first year.”

Whatever may transpire, McGregor was adamant he and his team-mates will be competitive as they relish once again visiting ground such as Celtic Park, Pittodrie and Tynecastle on a regular basis while he believes even opposition players will be happy to have Hibs back.

He said: “We’re looking forward to it. We’ve been in the Championship for three years and, no disrespect to the teams in it, but we’ve been going through the same cycle for three years.

“It will be great to get back to Parkhead, Tynecastle regularly, Pittodrie – all these places and teams that are perceived to be the top teams in the country.

“You only need to look at our stadium, the infrastructure, the fans we got last season to see we’re a big club as well. I’m sure there will be a lot of guys at other teams in the Premiership who are looking forward to us getting back as well.

“Our ground when it’s got 16-17,000 people in it has a really good atmosphere.”

After back-to-back seasons which saw Hibs win the Scottish Cup for the first time in 114 years and then the Championship title, McGregor is well aware of the rising expectation amongst Easter Road fans, evidenced by season-ticket sales running at record levels.

But he claimed he and his team-mates can rise to that challenge, saying: “There is always pressure and pressure is always good.

“It drives a wee bit of anxiety. I gives you that wee bit of the fear which in turn makes you work hard and makes you focused and concentrated.

“The fans have not put their hands into their pockets for no reason. They want to see good football, they want to see us winning games and they want to see us competing with other teams.

“Outside of Rangers and Celtic and the crowds they draw, the global audience they attract, you could argue that Aberdeen, ourselves, Hearts, are all of a similar ilk. The fans have put their faith in us so we need to go out there and perform. We are expected to win games.”

McGregor and his team-mates have had almost seven weeks to relax following their final Championship, plenty of time to reflect on what became a rather dragged out race to the title.

Asked if Lennon’s players were left drained by the experience, the 31-year-old said: “It was more of a relief, to be honest. After we beat Dundee United at their place, it was almost expected we would just go up.

“I thought we dragged our heels for a few games after it. There was a wee bit of apprehension so it was great to get that victory against Queen of the South. The plus side is we will be playing in the Premiership again, where we belong.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481314.1497974798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481314.1497974798!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Darren McGregor says Premiership teams will be looking forward to sampling Easter Roads atmosphere. Pic: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGregor says Premiership teams will be looking forward to sampling Easter Roads atmosphere. Pic: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481314.1497974798!/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-in-50-objects-no-7-the-empire-state-cup-1-4481444","id":"1.4481444","articleHeadline": "Hearts in 50 objects: No.7 – The Empire State Cup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498023018000 ,"articleLead": "

According to the old terrace chant, Hearts have ‘played in South Morocco’ and they’ve ‘played in the U-S-A’.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481442.1497982512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts played nine games before claiming the Empire State Cup"} ,"articleBody": "

But, while it would be foolish to trust the song’s spurious claim that the Edinburgh side have ever set boots upon the sand dunes of the Moroccan Sahara, no-one can deny their numerous trips to North America – they’ve a trophy to prove it.

In 1958, the newly-crowned Scottish League champs travelled to Canada and the United States to participate in the Empire State Cup, a nine-game-tour to mark 25 years since the advent of the American Soccer League. A full squad, including the ‘Terrible Trio’ attack line of Bauld, Conn and Wardhaugh, made the journey across the Atlantic. The side had just wrapped up a record-breaking league campaign which saw them finish 13 points clear at the top of the table with an astonishing 132 goals scored (a Scottish top-tier record) and just 29 conceded.

With Canada boasting a large population of Scottish ex-pats, Hearts proved to be a popular billing, and the Gorgie side attracted mostly bumper crowds wherever they went. In the opening game on May 23, Hearts steamrollered Ontario All-Stars 6-0 in front of a crowd of around 10,000 at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, Bauld and Wardhaugh doubling up to great effect.

Two days later, the Jam Tarts headed south to New York for the first of four matches versus Manchester City. The game against the English side took place in front of 20,600 at Ebbett’s Field, former home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The legendary baseball team had just made their controversial move to Los Angeles the previous May.

In what turned out to be a thrilling encounter, Brooklyn’s ‘Jammy Dodgers’ edged out City 6-5, having been two goals down after just 15 minutes. Wardhaugh managed a hat-trick, with Alex Young, Johnny Hamilton and Bauld netting the others.

Hearts’ next four games included a brace of impressive 13-2 victories against Manitoba and Alberta either side of a stunning 5-2 triumph in the second game against Man City. They then romped to a 4-1 win over British Columbia in Vancouver.

Then came an almighty crash. The boys in maroon tasted a little of their own medicine on June 7 as they found themselves on the wrong end of a 7-1 battering courtesy of an on-fire Man City. A crowd of 24,000 – the largest of the entire tournament – were present at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium to see the Edinburgh side dismantled.

But Hearts would atone for their lacklustre performance. On June 9, four goals from Conn and a hat-trick from Young contributed towards a 10-0 win in the penultimate fixture of the tournament against Ontario’s Northern Stars in Sudbury.

Then, in the final match, Hearts finished as they had started with a ferocious 6-0 victory over Man City in Montreal. A crowd of 10,200 watched on as Wardhaugh (four), Ian Crawford and Bauld made Manchester very blue.

With eight blistering wins out of a possible nine, Hearts departed North America as overall victors of the tournament and were duly awarded the Empire State Cup as their reward.

The trophy joined the squad on board the RMS Carinthia for the long voyage back to Scotland.

• See more great items from Hearts’ history at the club’s museum. For opening times, go to www.heartsfc.co.uk/pages/museum

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481442.1497982512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481442.1497982512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Hearts played nine games before claiming the Empire State Cup","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Hearts played nine games before claiming the Empire State Cup","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481442.1497982512!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481443.1497982516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481443.1497982516!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": ".","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": ".","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481443.1497982516!/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/darren-mcgregor-says-hibs-raring-to-go-after-extended-break-1-4481409","id":"1.4481409","articleHeadline": "Darren McGregor says Hibs raring to go after extended break","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1498023000000 ,"articleLead": "

Neil Lennon’s players will report back for pre-season training tomorrow desperate to get back into action after enjoying a near seven-week break, Hibs defender Darren McGregor has claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481408.1497980210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGregor has enjoyed his extended summer break"} ,"articleBody": "

McGregor and his team-mates have been able to put their feet up and relax since their final Championship match against St Mirren on May 6, safe in the knowledge that when they did get back to their East Mains training centre they’d be preparing themselves for a return to the Ladbrokes Premiership following a three-year absence.

And McGregor believes their extended break will have done them the world of good, pointing to how their previous two seasons had been extended by play-off matches, games he revealed he didn’t watch this summer having already headed off on holiday.

He said: “I was glad just to be away relaxing as opposed to preparing for those games. A lot of the boys at Hibs have been in them. They can be really tough. It can be an extra six games in the space of two or three weeks. They are two-legged so it’s a difficult proposition playing against teams who are gunning for the same end goal as you. So it was great to be out of that.

“The long break has been good. During the last few years we’ve had no longer than three or four weeks and, when I was at St Mirren, I had a couple of bad injuries and had no time off at all, so it’s been good to recharge the batteries.

“There was a lot of pressure on us at the third time of asking – after winning the Scottish Cup the year before – to actually go up. It was expected of us as well which sometimes adds a wee bit more pressure. So to get over the line and be rewarded with just over a month and a half off is great.

“But you get itchy feet, you want to get back in. You want to see the new strip, the training kit and you can’t wait until the fixtures come out – even if I am going to miss the first league game because of suspension.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HARDIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4481408.1497980210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4481408.1497980210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Darren McGregor has enjoyed his extended summer break","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Darren McGregor has enjoyed his extended summer break","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4481408.1497980210!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}