Hearts hand trial to ex Manchester United defender

Adam Eckersley is a left-back but can also play on the right
Adam Eckersley is a left-back but can also play on the right
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Hearts have taken former Manchester United full-back Adam Eckersley on trial as they look to reinforce their defence.

The 28-year-old is predominantly a left-back but can also play on the right and has begun training at Riccarton as he seeks a new club.

Head coach Robbie Neilson invited Eckersley to Edinburgh after telling Wednesday’s Evening News that he wanted to add another defender to his squad. He will assess the player over the next few days before making a decision on whether to offer him a contract.

Eckersley, a former England youth internationalist, left Manchester United in 2008. Following a brief spell with Port Vale, he has spent the last six years of his career playing in Denmark. He enjoyed productive spells with Horsens and Aarhus but is now keen to return to Britain.

Eckersley managed only one senior appearance at Old Trafford – against Barnet in the League Cup in October 2005 – despite joining the club as a nine-year-old. He later spent time on loan at Royal Antwerp, Brondby, Barnsley and Port Vale and his experience of football at various levels both in Britain and abroad will appeal to Neilson.

Hearts want competition for their established left-back Kevin McHattie, whilst a knee injury has sidelined right-back Callum Paterson until October.

Neilson may see Eckersley as the ideal player to provide cover for both players. Jordan McGhee is certain to continue deputising for Paterson at right-back against Hibs on Sunday.