Hearts plan to play next season’s under-20 matches at Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Park, the Evening News can reveal.
Talks are at an advanced stage for the League One club to stage Hearts’ home fixtures in the SPFL Development League.
The Tynecastle club have used New Victoria Park in Newtongrange for under-20 games for the last two years, however a change is imminent ahead of the new campaign.
Stenhousemuir are keen to welcoming Hearts and their youths for home games in the Development League. The arrangement should be confirmed before the end of the month.
Ochilview has a capacity of 3,746 with an astroturf playing surface, which ensures very few games are postponed due to inclement weather in the winter months. A priority for the Hearts coaching staff is to continue developing youth players through the under-20 squad, which is managed by Jack Ross, and the all-weather surface lessens the chance of postponements.
Ross has added 16-year-old striker Russell McLean to his group after signing him from Alloa on Friday. The 6ft 4in forward will play for the under-20s next season to enhance his development.
Talks are continuing between Stenhousemuir as they aim to agree on the smaller details of a deal for the use of Ochilview. There are no major hurdles to overcome. Development League fixtures aren’t due to start until early August but both parties intend to make an announcement soon.
• The Hearts Family Fun Day will take place on June 28 in Tynecastle’s Gorgie Suite. Legends and first-team players will attend and fans can get their picture taken with the SPFL Championship trophy.
Proceeds from the event will go to four good causes: Big Hearts, Save The Children, the Sick Kids Foundation and the 1874 Fighting Fund. Organisers will require extra help on the day and anyone interested in volunteering should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Linda Thomson on 0793 264 3976.
••Hearts have announced a pre-season friendly against English Championship club Preston North End. The game will take place at Deepdale on Saturday, July 18, with a a 3pm kick-off.