James hopes to follow Ellis and Jimmy22 June 2023
The 21-year-old defender became Hearts’ first signing of the January window this week after checking in on loan until the end of the campaign from Premier League side AFC Bournemouth.
After being unveiled to the press at Oriam, James revealed he was aware of the successes enjoyed by Ellis and Jimmy during their time wearing the maroon jersey – and spoke of his desire to emulate their heroics.
“I actually played with Jimmy Dunne when he came to Fleetwood on loan from Burnley,” he said. “I looked at their career paths and saw that it was a great opportunity for them and how much they’ve come on as players. You can see it from where they are now; Ellis was recalled by Everton and Jimmy’s been doing well for QPR.
“It’ll be a great experience to play in front of huge fanbases and I’m hoping to make the same strides forward. I feel like I’m ready to start, I feel like I’ve had good training sessions and been looking after my body and doing my extras because I haven’t been playing. Any opportunity I get, I’m ready to take it.
“I’ve been champing at the bit to get back playing and been asking the gaffer questions. It’s an opportunity for me to learn, and it’s up to me whether I take it or not. There’s so much I can learn from this team, and hopefully add to as well.”
James could be in line to make his Hearts debut when the Jambos welcome St. Mirren to Tynecastle Park tomorrow for Friday night football in the cinch Premiership.
The England U21 international has only ever experienced League One football in England and explained what he’s looking forward to about playing in Scotland’s top flight.
“The diversity of the league,” he told the press.
“There’s a lot of direct football here, and teams that will get the ball down and pass it to play. I want to be a part of it and get moving forward. It was a short turnaround and I had to grab all my stuff out of my apartment!
“It’s been incredible so far. The facilities are really nice, and the lads have helped me settle in. I’ve really enjoyed my first few days.”
You can catch James' first press conference in full on Hearts TV.