Hearts plan a number of friendlies with plan to give players limited minutes

Hearts intend to play a number of friendlies and ease players back into match action before their competitive season starts next month.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson (left) with assistants Lee McCulloch (centre) and Gordon Forrest.Hearts manager Robbie Neilson (left) with assistants Lee McCulloch (centre) and Gordon Forrest.
Hearts manager Robbie Neilson (left) with assistants Lee McCulloch (centre) and Gordon Forrest.

Manager Robbie Neilson is looking at around five pre-season fixtures in total and will split his squad for two games in quick succession.

Players reported to Riccarton to begin pre-season preparations on Tuesday. They are due to face Berwick Rangers in a friendly at Shielfield Park on Friday, June 25, then Linlithgow Rose at Prestonfield the following day.

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A number of supporters will be allowed to attend warm-up matches as per Scottish Government rules and guidelines on the Covid 19 pandemic.

For the moment, Hearts are about to step up their programme to be ready for the 2021/22 campaign – which includes a return to the Cinch Scottish Premiership.

“We are roughly looking at five friendlies all in,” Neilson told the Evening News, explaining that the introduction for players will be gentle to begin with.

“Boys will start off playing one half, then they progress to 60 minutes and eventually on to a full 90. They should be in decent shape by the time the Premier Sports Cup starts in July.”

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The Edinburgh club today completed the signing of English winger Josh Ginnelly, who joins as his contract at Preston North End expires. He has signed a two-year deal after spending last season on loan at Tynecastle Park.

Ginnelly, 24, made 11 appearances in maroon before a ruptured hamstring ended his campaign early in January. The player made a significant impression during those 11 games to indicate that he could be a key player for Hearts in the Scottish Premiership.

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