Hearts make first new signing of the summer with deal for international goalkeeper

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Hearts have announced their first signing of the summer with a deal for Northern Ireland international goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

The 39-year-old has put pen to paper on a one-year deal with the option of another as Hearts sought to boost their goalkeeping corps ahead of the new campaign.

Craig Gordon is still rehabilitating after sustaining a leg break midway through last season, while Zander Clark has been forced to sit out the last two pre-season games because of injury. The deal also allows Harry Stone to get more playing time with Hearts considering a loan for the youngster.

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McGovern was a free agent after leaving Norwich City, where he previously played alongside technical director Steven Naismith and underneath head coach Frankie McAvoy. He also worked with sporting director Joe Savage at Hamilton Accies.

Michael McGovern last played in Scottish football with Hamilton Accies in 2016. Picture: SNSMichael McGovern last played in Scottish football with Hamilton Accies in 2016. Picture: SNS
Michael McGovern last played in Scottish football with Hamilton Accies in 2016. Picture: SNS

Speaking the Hearts website, McAvoy said: “Michael is someone who I know very well from our time together at Hamilton and then Norwich He’s got great character but, most importantly, he’s a first-class goalkeeper and you only need to look at the career he’s had to see that.

“He’ll push Zander all the way in the training as we head towards the start of the season, and I’m certain our young goalkeeper will find his experience invaluable.”

Technical director Steven Naismith said: “I played with Michael at Norwich City so I know first-hand how good of a goalkeeper he is and he has the right characteristics to fit into this group of players.

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“With departures from last season and Craig Gordon working hard on his rehabilitation, we were a bit short in the goalkeeping department so when the opportunity came up to bring someone of Michael’s pedigree in, it was really a no brainer.

“The experience he’s amassed playing at the highest level in Scotland, England and internationally will be massive benefit to the squad as a whole, but particularly our goalkeepers.

“We’re excited about Harry Stone’s prospects and Michael coming in allows him to get even more game time, be it with the B Team or a loan move, with a view to him coming into the first team squad.”

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