Alim Öztürk is delighted that his move to Sunderland will allow him to watch Hearts more often.
The former Tynecastle skipper has been back to Gorgie once since leaving 18 months ago – for the Scottish Cup win over Hibs in January – and after joining the Wearside club, he plans to make the journey to Edinburgh whenever possible.
“I checked already and the train is just about one hour and 30 minutes from Sunderland, so if I get the opportunity, I will be there, believe me,” Öztürk told the Evening News. “There are only a few players left from my time, like John Souttar, Don Cowie and Arnaud Djoum, but Hearts are still really special to me.”
Öztürk helped Hearts win promotion from the Championship, scoring a wonder goal against Hibs in the process, before captaining them to third in the Premiership. Things unravelled in his third season when he was stripped of the captaincy and lost his place in the team before he moved to Turkish side Boluspor in January 2017.
“When I spoke to you last time, I said I will remember the first two years and I won’t think about the last six months,” said Öztürk. “In my opinion, things weren’t done in the right the way, but that happens – it’s part of the game. I have good memories from Hearts and the club still has a special place in my heart.”