NEW Hearts manager John McGlynn said today that there is no better time to be a youth player at the club.
McGlynn, who was officially unveiled yesterday, has a reputation for bringing the best out in younger players.
And, with the Jambos set to hand him a reduced budget for the new season as a result of the financial crisis which has gripped Scottish football, he will have to rely on the younger members of his squad to carry him through their SPL and cup campaigns.
McGlynn worked with an exceptionally tight budget at former club Raith Rovers though, and took a number of young Hearts players to Stark’s Park on loan during his time there.
The likes of Jason Holt and Denis Prychynenko may find themselves involved again under McGlynn as the season progresses, only this time in a maroon jersey, and the Hearts boss wants to see each and every one of his charges grab their opportunity with both hands.
By doing so they could make themselves household names and McGlynn said: “There will be no better time to be a youth player at Hearts than right now.
“We have a number of really talented players at this club and there’s no doubt the younger players at the club need to be ready for the challenges that lie ahead
“Hearts, for as long as I can remember, have always brought good young players through and they have a very good Academy facility.
“It really is excellent and maybe we should be bringing even more young players through.
“I will be working with the younger players, whilst keeping the backbone of the more experienced players at the same time. Andy Webster, Marius Zaliukas, Danny Grainger and Jamie Hamill, although he has a cruciate problem, but all these guys will be invaluable to the younger players. It’s not as if we can just throw Under-19 players into the first team but there is certainly an opportunity there for them.”
Meanwhile McGlynn expects Edgaras Jankauskas to join the Tynecastle coaching staff. Gary Locke and Darren Murray will remain at the club but former striker Jankauskas is likely to be named McGlynn’s assistant in the coming days.
The Lithuanian spent last season working as No.2 to Jose Couceiro – who was the early favourite bookmakers’ for the Hearts manager’s job – at Lokomotiv Moscow. The 37-year-old represented his country for almost 20 years and became the first Lithuanian to win the Champions League when he helped Porto triumph in 2004 under Jose Mourinho.
McGlynn said: “It would seem that he is going to form part of the backroom staff, although it is not a done deal yet. He has got a wealth of experience. If he does come in he would give us a different dimension, he would have different contacts and different ways of doing things.
“Hearts have always had quite a high foreign contingency, whether on the playing staff or the managers so it wouldn’t be something totally new and we would go into that with open arms.”