Connor Smith agrees new Hearts contract with first-team carrot

Hearts have agreed terms to extend midfielder Connor Smith’s contract into next season and beyond.

Talks between the 20-year-old’s representatives and the club progressed and should conclude with him putting pen to paper soon. He will then get the chance to challenge for a place in the Riccarton first-team squad this summer.

Smith enjoyed a productive spell on loan at Queen’s Park during the season just ended. He helped the League One side achieve promotion to the Scottish Championship, scoring in the play-off final win against Airdrie.

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He also earned international recognition with a maiden call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad followed by a debut against Turkey at Tynecastle Park back in March.

Hearts coaching staff monitored his progress closely and will now assess him first-hand during the pre-season campaign.

“The deal is agreed. It's just a case of getting a few wee bits and bobs tidied up now,” manager Robbie Neilson told the Evening News. “Connor did pretty well at Queen's Park last season. I still think he might need another loan at a higher level again but he will come back in with the first-team squad for pre-season.

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“He can do some training and we will see where he is before we make a decision. He's got ability, that's for sure. It's just putting it all together.

“There will definitely be spaces to fill in the squad, especially at the beginning of the campaign. We will have pre-season games and then we kick into European games so there is more than likely going to be a spot for him.”

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Hearts midfielder Connor Smith spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Queen's Park.
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