HEARTS head coach Robbie Neilson is confident Neil Alexander will sign a new deal after holding talks with the veteran goalkeeper.
Alexander doubles as goalkeeping coach at Riccarton and is out of contract this summer. Neilson stressed he doesn’t envisage any problems agreeing an extension.
Discussions have already taken place with the 37-year-old and he is expected to extend his stay at Tynecastle into next season. Alexander signed a two-year contract after joining from Crystal Palace in June 2014 and has been a key figure in Hearts’ rebuilding plans, helping the club win promotion last year.
The new contract would see him continue his dual role as player/coach, with the long-term plan that he will eventually step aside to focus solely on coaching. Hearts hope Alexander’s presence and influence will also help 21-year-old reserve goalkeeper Jack Hamilton progress to become the club’s future No.1.
“I’ve spoken to Neilly and he knows the situation. He’s one that we’d like to keep next year,” Neilson told the Evening News. “We’re in the process of getting things sorted and we know the situation so it won’t be a problem. Neil is the goalie coach and he’s the No.1 at the moment. I see him continuing here.
“Whether he’ll be the No.1 or No.2, it’s up to him with his form but he’s been great for us so far. He’s really enjoying the coaching side of it and that will be his future here, eventually. At the moment, he’s still the No.1. We’ve got Jack Hamilton, who we hope can progress and take over from Neil in time. I’m pleased with the options we’ve got.”