Robbie Neilson has challenged highly-rated Hearts youngster Angus Beith to force his way into his plans for next season.
The 20-year-old midfielder recently earned a one-year extension to his contract at Tynecastle and, as someone who will be too old to be considered an under-20 next season, he is being primed to make the step up to the first-team squad.
His progress so far has been hindered by untimely injuries, but management at Hearts continue to have high hopes for a player whose only top-team appearance so far came in a Petrofac Cup defeat by Livingston early last season.
After rediscovering his fitness in recent months following an operation last summer, Beith last week joined League One side Stenhousemuir on a 28-day emergency loan. The Edinburgh boy played the full 90 minutes as the Warriors defeated Forfar Athletic on Saturday and has been urged to make the most of his big chance to force his way into contention for a place in Hearts’ midfield next term.
“Angus will become a first-team player next year,” head coach Neilson told the Evening News. “We’ll assess him to see where he is in the summer. If he does well, he’ll be part of the first team. If he’s not quite there, he’ll go back out on loan again and we’ll have another look at him around the January window.
“He’s gone to Stenhousemuir to get some game time. we just felt the loan move was the best thing to give him the chance to go and play and get himself ready for next season.”
Meanwhile, another young prospect has signed a new deal with Hearts. Ali Roy, the 18-year-old forward who has featured twice in the first team, yesterday extended his contract for another year, meaning he will remain with the club next season.