Hearts will continue renewing loan deals for youngsters Dario Zanatta and Angus Beith to enhance their development. Zanatta is at Queen’s Park while Beith is at Stirling Albion, and Hearts plan to keep them there as long as they are playing regularly.
The Edinburgh club renewed Zanatta’s initial one-month emergency loan two weeks ago and have watched him in action for Queen’s Park. Beith joined Stirling last month and has played twice so far.
Both players are on the fringes of the Tynecastle first team but need more experience of senior football before they are ready to step in.
“Angus is in the same situation as Liam Smith. He’s at an age when he needs to be playing first-team football,” said head coach Robbie Neilson. “That’s why he’s on loan at Stirling Albion. I’d hoped we could’ve pushed him into our first team this season but he got an injury in the summer, missed a chunk of pre-season and that stretched into the start of the season.
“He goes to Stirling and gets games, which is really important. Under-20 games don’t have the same intensity as a first-team match, no matter what level it’s at. He can play at Stirling, come back and we can reassess things and make a decision about him. He might go out again or he might stay in the first-team squad with us.
“With Dario, we had him in pre-season and we hoped he would kick on a bit but he didn’t quite make it into the first-team squad. We decided to put him out on loan. Gus MacPherson wanted to take him and we’ve had him watched a couple of times. We actually had him watched on Saturday against Stranraer and he scored and did really well.
“He’s still in training with us but he’s a young kid and he’s got a long way to go. He is a prospect for us. It’s important for players like that to go out and play first-team football and do well. They need to show they’re capable of playing at that level and he’s certainly doing that.
“It’s an emergency loan for 28 days so we can just keep renewing it. We’ll make a decision on it nearer the time whether we extend it again for another month.”