Arbroath 'delighted' to sign Hearts teenager Connor Smith on loan

Youngster makes the move to Gayfield
Hearts midfielder Connor Smith has joined Arbroath on loan.Hearts midfielder Connor Smith has joined Arbroath on loan.
Hearts midfielder Connor Smith has joined Arbroath on loan.

Hearts teenager Connor Smith has joined Arbroath on loan until January in order to get regular game time.

The Angus club said in a statement that they are “delighted” with the deal, which could be extended until the end of the season.

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The 18-year-old featured in pre-season matches for Hearts but found himself competing with a number of senior players for a midfield place.

He is expected to feature regularly in an advanced role for Arbroath, although won’t play against his parent club in this season’s Championship.

A statement issued by Arbroath read: “Arbroath FC is delighted to announce the signing of 18-year-old midfielder Connor Smith who joins the club on loan from Heart of Midlothian until January.

“Connor is one of the Hearts Academy’s most exciting young players and made his made his senior Hearts debut coming off the bench at Kilmarnock on May 13, 2018.

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“Connor has also represented the Scotland Under-16 team and has gone on to captain Scotland’s Under-17 side on numerous occasions.

“He joined Cowdenbeath on loan at the start of last season where he played 15 times and scored on two separate occasions against Annan Athletic before being recalled by Hearts in January.

“He has been heavily involved in Hearts’ pre-season and scored a penalty against Edinburgh City on Friday night.

“The midfielder operates in the number 10 role, finding space between midfield and defence easily but played in various positions for Cowdenbeath in their midfield and up front.

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“Connor’s older brother is Callum Smith, who had a loan spell back with the Lichties in 2018/2019 and now plays in the Premiership for Hamilton Accies.

“Arbroath FC would like to thank Heart of Midlothian Football Club and Manager Robbie Neilson for allowing Connor to make the loan move to Gayfield.

“We are all excited to see Connor in action.”

Smith’s fellow Hearts teenager Chris Hamilton completed a loan move to League One side Dumbarton on Tuesday.

He will stay at The Rock until January but could also see the agreement extended until the end of the campaign.

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Both players are on the fringes of the first-team squad at Riccarton but need regular first-team involvement to continue developing.

After seven signings since June, the youngsters hope to benefit from loan moves to enhance their game. They are both viewed as highly-rated future prospects by the Hearts coaching staff.

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