Craig Levein speaks on Aidy White’s introduction to Hearts action

Aidy White hopes to begin his Hearts career today with a gentle introduction in the pre-season friendly against Glenavon.

Saturday, 6th July 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Saturday, 6th July 2019, 7:30 am

Without competitive action since January 2017 because of injury, the former Barnsley left-back will be eased into the first team at Tynecastle Park over the next few weeks.

Manager Craig Levein believes White, 27, can become a key player if fitness problems subside to let him reach peak form.

“Nobody would dispute that he was a really good player before his injury troubles started,” said Levein. “He has had to be patient, so have we, because he’s been out for a long time. I can see signs that he’s going to be useful for us.

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“His speed and technical ability are good. We hope things go according to plan. He has had a few niggles here and there, which I would expect after such a long period of inactivity. Hopefully he is okay.”

White joined Hearts as a free agent in March and started pre-season training last month. He travelled to Ireland for this week’s mini tour but did not feature against Shelbourne on Monday.

“There was risk and reward in signing Aidy. We were taking on somebody who hadn’t played for 19 or 20 months against what he could offer if we got him fully fit. I’m hopeful he can get there,” added Levein.

“It isn’t just getting to the point where he can start playing again, like now. It’s building up that resistance you need to play week in and week out. That’s another question that would need to be answered. We can only talk about now and say he is in a fairly good place.”