Gary Naysmith has returned to Hearts to take up the position of Loans Manager.
The former Jambos defender will play a major part in shaping the future of the club’s young players after agreeing to take up the role.
A Scottish Cup winner during his playing days at Tynecastle, Gary will be involved in every step of the loans process as the club looks to reap the benefits of sending its potential stars of the future out on loan in order to gain first-team experience.
Formerly first-team manager at East Fife and Queen of the South, Gary revealed to heartsfc.co.uk that his remit is wide-ranging, and he thanked Craig Levein for giving him the opportunity to help develop young players.
“After speaking to Craig it became clear that this was a role that he would like to develop and I’m delighted that he’s chosen me to be the loans manager,” he said. “Even when I was a manager I really liked to try and take younger players, permanently or on loan from Premiership clubs to try and develop them, and it’s a very similar role.
“In the English Premier League, every club has a loans manager. A few teams in Scotland have them too and I do think it’s a role that is going to get bigger and grow in importance as the seasons go on.
“I’m going to have a big input in which club the player goes to. You need to make sure he’s playing at a level that his ability should be playing at; i.e., if it’s too hard then he’s not going to play but if it’s too easy then he won’t learn anything. We’ve got to make sure it’s a club suited to the player, for example there is no point sending a ball-playing midfielder to a team that goes back to front.
“So there is a bit of homework involved in identifying the right clubs and once we do get boys out on loan its then up to me to keep an eye on their progress, manager other scouts who will be working underneath me and make sure we’re covering everybody on a regular basis. Then we can report back to the management team about progress, and some times lack of progress, that players are making.
“It’s important that when the players go out on loan, they realise they’re doing so to benefit their careers. It can be quite easy for a younger player to go out on loan and feel that he’s going to be forgotten about. I’ll have regular contact with these lads so they don’t’ feel left out.
“It’s important that I build up relationships with the players. I don’t know them that well just now but I’ve been coming in for a wee while now to try to get to know them. They have to come to me with any problems they have because I’m trying to take it away from the first-team management.
“I hope it’s good for the boys to have me in this position. I think it helps that Craig has put his trust in me. I went to watch Alex Petkov at the weekend for Clyde and I thought he did quite well, given he’d only had one training session with them. I saw a couple of things that could be improved upon, so if I can get footage from that game then I can clip it and show my feedback to Alex on a one-to-one basis.
“I’m very grateful that Craig trusts me to be able to do things like that. I want to help the players become better, to benefit their careers and if we can do that they it can only benefit Hearts.”