Andy Halliday's talks with Hearts management, coaching ambitions and bond with club after signing new deal

Declaring a bond with Hearts and gratitude at extending his Tynecastle career, Andy Halliday is already targeting Riccarton coaching work.

Monday, 28th February 2022, 10:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 8:25 am

The 30-year-old midfielder signed a new contract until 2024 after talks with manager Robbie Neilson and sporting director Joe Savage. He said he feels an allegiance to the Edinburgh club and, if possible, hopes to begin coaching within their youth academy soon.

First he wants to return European football to Gorgie for the first time since 2016. “I'm honest enough to know I don't have another decade at the top level, so for the rest of my career I want to be competing at the highest level possible and try to go deep in competitions,” said Halliday.

“I had an honest conversation with the manager in the middle of January and he told me he wanted to offer me a contract. I told him I wanted to stay and negotiations were very easy from then.

Andy Halliday has held detailed talks with senior figures at Hearts.

“The biggest praise I can give the manager is that he's never been anything but honest with me. If he feels I should be doing more on the pitch, he'll tell me and also if he thinks I'm doing well.

“Europe would be a good aspect of staying at the club. It was an ambition of ours at the start of the season and it's something we're really looking forward to. It's 2016 since Hearts were last in the Europa League, so six years is a long time.

“It's something the club will be desperate to experience again. I think we still have a way to go but I think, as a club, we are going places.

“It's not even just the football club. It's everything that surrounds it. It is the people behind the scenes, the players, the manager, the fans, the stadium, the training facilities. All around it is just a fantastic club.”

Hearts coach Steven Naismith says he is happy to bide his time over a move into management. The former Scotland, Rangers and Kilmarnock forward was linked with the St Mirren manager's job and admitted he has spoken to clubs about roles in the past (Edinburgh Evening News)

Halliday is studying for a UEFA ‘A’ Licence and wants to become more of a role model for Hearts youth players. “I had a couple of conversations with Naisy [Steven Naismith, Under-18 coach]. I'd love to take advantage of the position I am in and take a little more to do with the 18s, 16s, 14s,” he said.

“I don't mean step on anyone's toes, just coming to the odd training session. I remember being a young player myself. When a first-team player comes out and says ‘hello’ or says your name when you are 13 or 14, that feeling of a first-team player knowing your name is amazing. I always feel that gives a player an extra ten per cent.

“Even when it comes to players not getting a new contract at Hearts, I'd love to be that player to bridge the gap where they can pick up the phone and give me a wee call about what they can do next.

“I want to take advantage of the fortunate position I am in because I am under no illusions that I am very, very fortunate to be at a great football club like Hearts. My focus is on being a football player but in my spare time I'd love to be a bit more involved with the academy.”

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Andy Halliday signs new Hearts contract to extend his stay at Tynecastle

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