James Keatings signs for Hearts

James Keatings will be plying his trade at Tynecastle next season. Pic: SNS
James Keatings will be plying his trade at Tynecastle next season. Pic: SNS
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Hearts have completed the signing of Hamilton Accies forward James Keatings.

The 22-year-old has signed a two-year deal and joins Morgaro Gomis as the first two new faces at Tynecastle since the end of administration on Wednesday.

Keatings left Hamilton Academical at the end of last season after scoring 15 goals in 35 appearances. Although the Lanarkshire club beat Hibs in a play-off to earn promotion to the Premiership, Keatings has agreed to stay in the Championship with Hearts.

“I’ve known him for a number of years and watched him at Celtic where he scored a lot of goals in the youth teams and U20s,” said Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson on the club website.

“The pleasing thing with James is that he had the opportunity to stay at Celtic a year ago, but because he didn’t see a pathway for himself he decided to take the opportunity to leave and go to Hamilton.

“He dropped down to try to forge a career and to see that desire is great. He had the ambition to go out and take a chance and try to prove himself in a first-team environment. He did fantastically well for Hamilton at the start of last season but then picked up a wee injury.

“He could have stayed and played in the Premiership with Hamilton, but he recognises that there’s an opportunity here for him to progress. I’m pleased to get him. He’s a good character and a top development prospect for us.”