JAMIE MacDONALD has signed a new contract with Hearts which ties the goalkeeper to Tynecastle until June 2014. The deal also carries the option of a year’s extension to 2015 at the club’s discretion.
The 25-year-old will continue challenging for the No.1 goalkeeping slot after agreeing terms with Hearts officials. His existing contract expires this summer, but the new deal safeguards MacDonald’s future after nine years as a professional with the Edinburgh club.
He had been seeking assurances regarding recent wage delays but, following the SPL’s decision that Hearts acted in good faith paying players earlier this month, he was happy to sign the new contract.
Current first choice Marian Kello is also out of contract this summer and is expected to leave as Hearts trim their squad size and cut their wage bill. MacDonald would then be in position to make the goalkeeping position his own. The Scot has made seven first-team appearances so far this season and has performed impressively whenever called upon since debuting for Hearts against Rangers at Ibrox in August 2008.
He spent 18 months on loan at Queen of the South during 2007 and 2008 and played in the 2008 Scottish Cup final with the Dumfriesshire club. Since returning to Tynecastle, he has been largely second choice to Kello and the recently-departed Hungarian Janos Balogh.
After successfully negotiating his new contract, MacDonald will now aim to fulfil his ambition of establishing himself as the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper at Tynecastle. He is a product of the Hearts youth academy and has always maintained a desire to stay with the club he supported as a child.