Hearts planning a derby party

Easter Road has been a happy hunting ground for Hearts recently
Easter Road has been a happy hunting ground for Hearts recently
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HEARTS fans are planning a party at Easter Road on the second weekend of the new season after the SPL fixture list produced a Scottish Cup final re-run between the Edinburgh clubs.

The 2012/13 calendar sees Hearts visit Hibs on Saturday, August 11, although the match is expected to be rescheduled for live television. Tynecastle supporters are already planning a celebration at the home of their greatest rivals following their 5-1 cup final victory at Hampden a month ago today.

“The derby has come round very quickly,” said Derek Watson, chairman of the Hearts Supporters’ Trust. “I imagine the Hearts support will be delighted to be going to Easter Road in the early stage of the season. I would think it would be quite a party, which should make for a good atmosphere.

“We could have a totally different team by next month. Hibs will probably have a totally different team as well. Hopefully Hearts will still have the majority of the cup final team. The Hearts end will definitely be a sellout and I’m sure everyone will look forward to that one.”

Hearts first-team coach Gary Locke is also anticipating a rousing atmosphere in Leith. “It’s certainly interesting to meet them in the second game of the season,” he said. “I don’t think the cup final will have any bearing on the match, although our supporters will no doubt go there in high spirits.”

Hearts begin the new campaign at home to St Johnstone on Saturday, August 4. “Having been away to Rangers at Ibrox for the first game of last season, on paper this is a good start for us,” Locke told the club website.

“But St Johnstone proved a very difficult side to beat last season so we know it is going to be tough. However, it is a fixture we’ll be looking to win. And after the events at the end of last season, hopefully we’ll have a big crowd inside Tynecastle for our first home game of the new season.”