Hearts new signing Craig Beattie reveals lure of Europe led him to Tynecastle

Craig Beattie says the chance to play in Europe was a key factor in his decision

Craig Beattie says the chance to play in Europe was a key factor in his decision

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HEARTS signing Craig Beattie admits he could have “had it easier” by joining another club, but is relishing the challenge of helping the Tynecastle club gain a place in Europe.

Beattie knocked back offers from other SPL outfits in order to take up the task of pushing the Jambos towards a strong finish, and could feature in tomorrow’s league meeting with Dundee United in Gorgie.

The 28-year-old said the late payment of wages to Hearts players in recent months did not enter his consideration when pondering his next career move after he was released by Swansea City.

“I could have had it slightly easier elsewhere, but that’s not what I’m looking for, that’s not what I’m about,” Beattie told the Evening News. “So, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I know a few of the lads and I know how difficult the league is. Obviously, Motherwell have been doing really well and the league’s tightened up a little bit with all the controversy that’s been going on. It’s interesting at the minute.

“Whatever’s been happening off the field is none of my, or the lads’ concern really. Our job is to be football players. We have to turn up every day, train as hard as we can and try to get three points on the weekends.

“My target for the season now is to get some games and goals.”

Beattie played for Hearts at under-12 level and was linked with a move to Gorgie in the past. Returning to the club now as Paulo Sergio’s first signing, the former West Brom and Celtic striker is relishing the opportunity to set foot on the Tynecastle turf once again.

“Before, it was just rumours,” said Beattie. “They’ve been interested, on and off, for a little while. I’m glad it’s happened now.

“It was something that excited me, and I know how big the club is. I’ve had options and weighed them up. It wasn’t a financial decision, it was purely a football decision, something that interested me.”