Teenage centre-back Jahmal Howlett-Mundle is the latest addition to Hearts’ Under-20 squad after moving north from Crystal Palace.
The 18-year-old spent nine years in London but has joined the Edinburgh club in the hope of eventually playing regular first-team football.
Howlett-Mundle will go into Jack Ross’s under-20 squad initially, although he already has designs on progressing to senior level. “It’s been a long time coming and I couldn’t wait to get here and get started. It should be a great experience and a great journey,” he told the Hearts website.
“I was here two months ago for a week and I had a great time. Everyone welcomed me really well. My family has come up with me now that everything is signed and sealed. I just can’t wait to get started.
“I know that’s there’s been a lot of young players coming through the academy, and elsewhere, and Robbie [Neilson] and Stevie [Crawford] have given them the chance and Jack’s helped them to continue their development into the first team. That’s the main reason I’m here, to continue my development and work with Hearts’ first team.”
Ross praised Howlett-Mundle’s ability, saying: “Jahmal’s got a great pedigree. We were fortunate enough to get him up to train with us at the end of last season and he did really well.
“He’s a little bit different from some of the younger players that we’ve signed for the squad this season in that he’s a little bit older – but still 18 – and probably a little bit more mature in terms of his experiences in football, both physically and mentally. I think that’ll help us as well in terms of the group, he’ll drag some of them along in that sense.”
Hearts’ Under-20 home matches will take place at Stenhousemuir’s Ochilview Park next season, as the Evening News revealed earlier this week.