B team

Wee Jambos start pre-season with a win

05 July 2024

Hearts B ran out 10-0 winners at Victoria Park last night as Liam Fox’s side kicked off pre-season with a convincing victory over Vale of Leithen. 


The damage was very much done in the first 45 minutes as the Wee Jambos found themselves eight goals to the good at the break.


Makenzie Kirk bagged four and there were braces for Bobby McLuckie and Ryan Duncan, one of which being a stunning 20-yard free kick, as the men in maroon dominated the early proceedings.


Changes followed in the second half and Vale were able to keep it much tighter at the back, but two late goals added further gloss to the scoreline, courtesy of Taylor Hogarth and Callen Robb.


“It’s great to be back,” Fox told the Official Hearts Website after the match.


“The off season gets shorter and shorter every year. Just with the way the game is now, the emphasis on players coming back fit. The boys have had stuff to do over the summer and they’ve come back in really good condition.


“They come in on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday to do extra stuff in the gym and on the pitch. They do that because it means when they come back, there are fewer days of just running and they can get on to the football side of things quicker, which is really good.


“We managed to get everyone on the pitch, including, a lot of young boys, which is good.


“There were some good things, but also loads of things that we need to work on. Every year, there is a new batch of kids coming through, so you need to go through that process. We’ve lost a few of the older boys obviously and we’ve got younger ones coming through, but there’ll be opportunities for them all.


“We’ll have a lot more difficult challenges than today, but for our first game, I’m happy with what I saw."


There will be a much tougher test for Fox’s side on Tuesday night, when they travel to face Kelty Hearts at New Central Park, before heading south for a short pre-season camp and two further friendlies.


“We’ve booked different types of games in the pre-season that will provide us with different challenges. We had loads of the ball tonight, created loads of chances and scored loads of goals. Whereas, on Tuesday, we’re coming up against a very good side with experienced players, who have played in the top leagues.


“That will be totally different for us, but we want to expose the players to these types of challenges, as well as getting their fitness levels up.


“As for the games down south, again, two very different types of games, but the lads will be able to spend some time together, the trip itself is something they haven’t done before, so it’ll be a new experience for a lot of them which just helps with us continuing to develop them, bring their personalities out and get them comfortable in the environment.”


It was an extremely successful campaign for the men in maroon last season, finishing second in the Lowland League, but Fox insists that’s now in the past as he focuses on developing the next set of young players at the club.


“We had a great season last year, but my first message to the guys this year was that that’s gone, that’s forgotten about now. In football, you need to continue to improve and get better.


“Part of this job is being able to bring a batch of young players through, spend time with them and develop them. The principal of it all comes back to attitude and application. If you can do that, you can make any mistakes as you want.


“Everybody wants to win football matches but when I came back to this job, I knew that wasn’t the sole objective, but we know as staff that if we continue to improve the individuals, we’ll get there with the results.


“It might not come in the next two, three, four weeks. It might be a process over the course of the season. I believe we’ve got a good set of kids here and I’m very much looking forward to working with them and to the season ahead.”