Raith Rovers keen on keeping young Hearts player David Smith on loan

RAITH ROVERS will approach Hearts to extend their loan agreement for forward David Smith, which is due to expire in two weeks’ time.

The 19-year-old has impressed the Kirkcaldy club and broken into the Scotland Under-21 squad this season and the Raith player/manager Grant Murray is eager to keep him. Smith’s five-month loan ends on January 27 and Murray intends to hold talks with the Hearts management nearer the time in an effort to keep the youngster until the summer. “I’d be delighted if I could extend David’s stay,” said Murray. “We knew we were getting him till January 27 and we’re grateful to Hearts for letting us have him. He’s come to Raith and played regularly and Hearts might want him to go back and be an asset to their squad. He’s got himself involved with the Scotland Under-21s, so they might have a place for him there.

“I can’t speak for John (McGlynn) on how he assesses his squad or what he sees for David in the future. If Hearts recall him, then there’s nothing we can do about it. He’s been fantastic for us up until now but, if there is a situation where we could keep him, then we’d be really happy. I’ll wait until as close to the 27th as possible and then speak to Hearts. We’d want to keep him if we can.”

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Raith took Smith on loan last season and Murray praised the player’s application in the First Division. “David first came to Raith last year with Jason Holt, Denis Prychynenko and Jamie Walker,” recalled Murray.

“It was a good learning curve for them here, coming out of Under-19 football and going straight into competitive First Division football.

“David returned this season and played week in, week out. He’s no different to anyone else at Raith – he has to perform every week and when he hasn’t been performing he’s found himself on the bench.

“Then he’s picked himself up and fought back into the team. I think it’s helped him being here and in time I’d really like to see him make a name for himself at Hearts.”