Hearts will enlist six first-team players for Saturday’s SFA Youth Cup semi-final with Kilmarnock at Tynecastle, with coach Robbie Neilson calling on Callum Paterson, Sam Nicholson, Dale Carrick, Billy King, Jordan McGhee and Gary Oliver.
Although most of those have played regularly at senior level this season, they are all still young enough to play for the club’s under-20 team. That also means they are eligible for the Youth Cup and Neilson intends to use all six this weekend.
“All the boys who are eligible for the under-20s will play,” he told the Evening News today. “Paterson, Nicholson, Carrick, King, Oliver and McGhee will all be there.”
Kilmarnock also intend to use eligible first-team players like Craig Slater, Mark O’Hara, Robbie Muirhead and possibly Chris Johnston, thus injecting some experience to the occasion.
“It will be almost a first-team game because Kilmarnock will be putting out all their eligible players as well, and a lot of them are in the first team down there,” continued Neilson. “It will be a good test for the boys and it should be quite a good atmosphere. Hopefully we can attract a decent crowd as the boys have a chance to go and win a trophy.”
Neither Hearts nor Kilmarnock have a first-team game this weekend due to the Scottish Cup semi-finals. That will allow inactive youngsters like those named above to participate in the Youth Cup semi-final.