HEARTS will send third-choice goalkeeper Jack Hamilton out on loan within the next few weeks after completing the signing of Scott Gallacher.
Head coach Robbie Neilson wants the 20-year-old Hamilton to gain more first-team experience and is seeking a suitable club for him to join until January.
Gallacher signed a two-year deal with Hearts last week after agreeing his release from Rangers. Neilson wants him to challenge first-choice Neil Alexander this season, which would leave Hamilton with only under-20 fixtures to keep him occupied.
Neilson believes the youngster will be better served playing senior football at another club, and the pair have discussed the plans to negotiate a loan deal.
Hamilton previously spent time on loan at Forfar and East Fife, and Neilson is looking for a similar club to aid the goalkeeper’s development.
“We’ll get Jack out on loan soon, probably until January, and hopefully he’ll develop more. We’ll assess it again when he comes back,” Neilson told the Evening News. “Jack knows that’s what’s happening so he’ll go out when we get a suitable club to take him. I’m sure there will be a lot of clubs after him – I’ve already had a few enquiries – but we need to make sure we pick the right one at the right level for him. We want him to come back a stronger player and be ready to push forward. I really like Jack. I worked with him a lot last season [with Hearts Under-20s] and he’s got the potential to be a really good keeper.”
Gallacher, 25, is now expected to push 36-year-old Alexander for the No.1 position at Hearts. “First and foremost, I was quite surprised when he was let go by Rangers because he’s a very good keeper,” explained Neilson. “He’s played a lot of games at lower league level with Cowdenbeath, Airdrie and Forfar and done well.
“The plan all along was to get another goalie in to compete with Neil, so hopefully Scott can push Neil. That allows us to put Jack out on loan. I’ve had a conversation with Jack about getting him out to play games. He’s played under-20s for the last couple of years and there comes a point when you’re too advanced for that level. You need proper, competitive football.”