David Templeton has revealed which Hearts players used to kick lumps out of him in training as he tried to make a name for himself at the club.
The former Gorgie favourite signed as a youngster from Stenhousemuir in 2007 and broke into the first team at the end of the 2008/09 season.
As an inexperienced professional trying to make his mark, he was expected to endure some rough treatment from the older players who didn’t take too kindly to being shown up by the midfielder on the training pitch.
He told Simon Ferry on Open Goal: “Robbie [Neilson] was good with me. My first game I came on against Aberdeen and played right wing and he just talked me through the game. In training he was murder, because if I ever ran by him he would just kick f*** out of me. As a young boy you wouldn’t get free-kicks or anything. It was just a way of getting you to grow up.
“It used to annoy the life out of me because you’re doing well in training, getting by Robbie or by Eggert Jonsson, who was quite nasty as well. The two of them used to just kick f*** out of you. You couldn’t claim for a free-kick or anything. You just had to get on with it.”
Another team-mate that used to annoy the Burton Albion star was team captain Michael Stewart, who could be somewhat demanding.
Templeton said: “Good player, really good for us at the time, but in training he was a moany b*****d. I was obviously young and wouldn’t say anything back to the first-team players, but with Mikey I used to tell him to shut up all the time. It was just non-stop.
“It’s one of those ones where he passes it three yards away from you, it’s a bad pass, but it’s my fault because I never got there. He was bad that way but off the park he was nice.”
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