Hearts coach seeking two new goalkeepers

Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson
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Hearts are seeking two new goalkeepers for next season and want one to double as the club’s goalkeeping coach.

An experienced No. 1 is wanted to replace Jamie MacDonald, who was released last week at the end of his contract. Hearts are also seeking a back-up keeper with the relevant qualifications to coach at senior level.

Head coach Robbie Neilson and director of football Craig Levein are working on signing targets for all positions following the departures of several players as part of a restructuring plan under new owner Ann Budge. MacDonald and second-choice goalkeeper Mark Ridgers were amongst them, leaving 20-year-old Jack Hamilton as Hearts’ only signed keeper for now.

Speaking to the Evening News today, Neilson explained his plans to recruit two goalkeepers and have one fill the added role of goalkeeping coach. “We’ll be bringing in a No. 1 and hopefully a very good No. 2. He will fill in when we need him and also do a bit of coaching work. We also have Jack Hamilton, who I think is going to be a fantastic goalkeeper, so he’s going to get pushed a bit more next year as well.

“We need a goalie coach so I’m hoping to bring someone in who can cover two bases for us – playing and coaching. It’s important we have cover in the goalkeeping department, but it’s also important we bring the right type of coach in. That can help not only the professional players, but also the academy kids.

“The players we bring in will be experienced to a point. We’re not going to go out there and get boys at 34 or 35. We’re after young, hungry players in their mid-20s – maybe around the age of 26, 27 or 28 – who still want to progress. We want guys who want to come in to Hearts, do well and move on again to the next level.

“It’s important we get guys with that hunger and desire. We need the right characters who are going to be leaders in the dressing-room and who can set an example to other players and the young kids coming through. The most important thing is getting the good types of players.”