Trialist Alfred Hammond fails to earn Hearts deal

Robbie Neilson is still looking to bolster his Hearts squad. Pic: SNS
Robbie Neilson is still looking to bolster his Hearts squad. Pic: SNS
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Ghanaian trialist Alfred Hammond has left Hearts after failing to win a contract.

The 19-year-old midfielder spent time training at Riccarton last week, but was not offered a deal by the Edinburgh club.

A minor injury hindered Hammond during the trial and Hearts decided to make an early decision on the player, who holds an Austrian passport and was recently on trial with Dundee.

Hammond has returned to England, where he previously spent time with non-league clubs FC United of Manchester, Burgess Hill, Three Bridges and Winsford United. He has earned a reputation at that level as a combative and energetic midfielder with a powerful shot and already has several teams interested in his signature.

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson remains in the market for a striker before the January transfer window closes. He is keen to add competition to his front line, where Osman Sow, Juanma Delgado and Gavin Reilly are all competing for two places at the moment.

Dutch forward Soufian El Hassnaoui is expected back next month, but hasn’t played at all this season due to injury problems. He will take time to reach the required level of match fitness.

Winger Jamie Walker is in contention for a place on the substitutes’ bench this weekend when Hearts travel to Inverness for a Saturday lunchtime kick-off. He hasn’t played since the end of October because of a knee problem, which forced him to have an operation just before New Year.