Craig Gordon on Hearts starlet Harry Stone's impressive loan spell, speaking often and future
Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon has revealed Harry Stone has been “very happy with his performances” on loan at Albion Rovers.
The 18-year-old has earned rave reviews since joining the Cliftonhill side, playing seven times to go alongside the solitary appearance he had on loan at Stirling Albion earlier in the campaign.
Stone has made eye-catching stops against Queen’s Park and Edinburgh City, saves which Gordon would have been proud of, and has helped the Wee Rovers rise up League Two and away from the dreaded bottom spot.
The Hearts No.1 knows how valuable experience in the lower leagues is having spent time on loan with Cowdenbeath.
"I speak to him quite a lot,” Gordon said. “I normally speak to him after every game and ask him how he has got on. He’s been very happy with his performances.
"It’s a great pathway for any young player. To go out on loan at 18 and prove to himself that he can play in men’s football this early on. At 18, he has now taken that step to proper men’s football. To be able to handle that and prove that to himself will give him a huge amount of confidence, not only coming back here but for next season as well.
"Whether it’s another loan deal higher up the leagues or whether Hearts see him coming in and pushing for a start here, it’s fantastic for him this early in his career to have that.”
Stone is contracted with Hearts until 2023 and is highly regarded at Tynecastle.
He could be the latest in a long line of impressive goalkeepers to forge a career at Hearts and he could have hardly picked a better role model in Gordon to help guide him along the way,
“It will be up to us to keep him grounded and make sure he doesn’t get too carried away, Gordon said.
“I’m sure he won’t. He’s a very level-headed boy so hopefully he just continues that progression. He’s had a good start.
"There will be the odd bump along the road, and it’s up to us to help navigate him through that and help him along the way.”