Aaron Hickey may have created history by becoming the youngest ever starting player in a Scottish Cup Final, but he’s only concentrating on looking towards the future.
The 16-year-old, making only his second start and third overall appearance, was outstanding at left back on Saturday, keeping multiple Player of the Year award-winning Celtic winger James Forrest completely at bay.
Hearts pushed their counterparts all the way but were edged out in the narrowest of circumstances, and despite putting in a performance beyond his years, Aaron admits he wasn’t even expecting to be on the pitch.
“I expected to be sitting in the stands on Saturday but if I did play, I’d have to just do my best and hope that was good enough,” he said. “The manager told me on Friday morning that I was playing, the team was on the board and it was amazing to see my name up there.
“I was nervous but I knew I had to keep myself calm to help the team. I know James Forrest has a lot of pace, so I had to try and cut down on the space he had and just do the best I could, and Jake Mulraney and Arnaud Djoum came across a lot to help shut down the space which was good.
“I had my family there watching so obviously that was a big help too. Playing last week at Celtic Park in front of a huge crowd gave me a lot of confidence.
“I didn’t know I was the youngest player to start a cup final either, but that’s nice.
“It was a great day for me personally but I’m gutted for the Hearts fans who were through there.
“I feel great but I need to keep my head down and try to improve in training and get in the gym, because I need to get bigger for first team level.”