First team

Penrice: No Hearts hesitation

18 June 2024

James Penrice has revealed that one conversation with Steven Naismith was all it took for him to decide his future lay with Hearts.


The 25-year-old today became the Jambos’ first signing of the summer transfer window after penning a three-year deal at Tynecastle Park following the expiration of his contract at Livingston.


When his time in West Lothian began to draw to a close a few weeks ago, James had options in front of him to continue his career elsewhere. It didn’t take him long, however, to commit to joining the boys in maroon following a chat with the Head Coach.


Speaking to Hearts TV, James said: “I thought (coming to Hearts) was the next, gradual step for me. I met the manager and the project that they had suited me to a tee, and it was the right place to develop. I’m just absolutely buzzing to be here.


“He spoke about my game, about the club, about how big the club is and the challenge the players have at the club. Everything he said, as soon I left the meeting I said ‘that’s the only place for me’. It was tied up pretty quickly and one of the worst kept secrets about!


A marauding left-back, James has ran out at Tynecastle on plenty of occasions, albeit in opposition colours. He’ll now get to experience Gorgie in the famous maroon jersey and already has the Jam Tarts’ European campaign circled on his calendar.


“I can’t wait for the European ties,” he said. “Cannot wait. My passport’s looked out! That was a big factor for me as well, how well the club did last season. I played against the club a number of times last season and it was a very difficult place to come. I’d have loved to have been on the other side and that’s happened now.


“It’ll be good be getting cheered on instead of a little bit of abuse! It’s probably my favourite stadium in Scotland. It’s a fantastic place to play your football and I can’t wait to get going. I’m buzzing for the first game.”


James’ interview is available to watch in full on Hearts TV by clicking here.