ALTHOUGH unable to register any new players with his club in administration, Hearts manager Gary Locke believes having Callum Paterson and David Smith available again is like two new signings.
Paterson, who had been out of action since suffering a broken foot last January, made his return to action in last weekend’s friendly against Queen of the South.
Smith, meanwhile, has returned from a 12-month loan at Raith Rovers in May and featured briefly towards the end of last season. He has hitherto looked a useful prospect in pre-season friendlies.
Paterson is most comfortable wide on the right of midfield but is still only 18, while forward Smith is 20. Both are expected to play regularly for Hearts in the season ahead and Locke is grateful for their presence with new arrivals out of bounds.
“Both of them are like new players because they didn’t play much for me last season,” Locke told the Evening News. “David’s been really good in the pre-season games so far and I’ve been pleased with the response from all the young boys. We’re a young and enthusiastic side and if I get the type of effort I’ve had so far then I’ll be delighted.”