JAMIE MacDONALD is relishing the prospect of getting his future sorted out now that Hearts look to have secured their survival.
The goalkeeper is one of several players out of contract at the end of season and, as arguably the Jambos’ top performer this season, tying the 28-year-old down on a new deal is likely to be a priority for owner-in-waiting Ann Budge as she prepares to take office in the next month or so.
MacDonald, whose impressive form this season has led to him being touted for a Scotland call-up, is eager to stay on at Hearts despite the fact they have had their relegation to the Championship confirmed.
The ’keeper is hopeful that, with the uncertainty surrounding the club having been eased this week, he can soon sit down with Budge and resolve his own future. “I would love to stay on,” he stressed to the Evening News. “It’s out of my hands right now but now that things look like they’re moving forward off the pitch hopefully we can start seeing what’s going to happen. I would definitely stay, though.”
Despite his own stock rising, MacDonald, who was operating as a back-up keeper as recently as three years ago, has no desire to leave a club where he is playing regularly in front of one of the biggest crowds in the country. He has seen plenty highly-regarded colleagues leave Tynecastle, only to end up at smaller clubs.
“I’m just happy to be playing,” he said. “There was a time not so long ago when I wasn’t really playing and there were times I wanted to leave but I’ve played for the last two and a half years and, as hard as it’s been at times, I’ve loved it. The main thing for me is that I’m playing week in, week out.
“The grass isn’t always greener somewhere else. I think people forget how big a club this is. Even in the position we’re in this season, we’re still averaging about 14,000 people a week, which is fantastic. There aren’t many clubs that would get that sort of turnout. I’m at a massive club.
“Would you rather play in front of 5,000 every week or would you rather play in front of 14,000? No disrespect to any of the boys because a lot of them didn’t want to leave here, but a lot of really good players have left here and not gone to clubs that are any bigger than Hearts.
“This is the third-biggest club in the country.
“Even if you look to England, yeah, there might be a bit more money down there, but a lot of clubs are still only getting about 8,000.”