Andy Kirk has praised his players for treating the SPFL Reserve Cup like a senior competition after they lifted the trophy last night by beating Motherwell.
The Jambos reserves ran out 2-0 winners against the Steelmen at Tynecastle thanks to second half goals from Lewis Moore and Callumn Morrison, in what was a comfortable performance in front of more than 1,700 supporters.
Kirk spoke of his pride at winning silverware and points to their preparation ahead of the match as key to their success, adding that moments like this can only help their development.
"This was a cup final and we treated it like a senior cup all the way through; we need to win every game,” he said. “We’ve managed to do that and I’m delighted.
"They need to enjoy moments like this. We’ve got 16-year-old boys in that dressing room and this is an amazing experience for them.
"As much as we are trying to develop them as players and improve their game knowledge and technical ability, there’s got to be that winning mentality in their mindset.
"It’s invaluable for these players. This is a moment they can look back on, they’ll have the pictures of it - they’ve achieved it, and it’s especially nice for it to be at Tynecastle.
"But at this point in development, it becomes really important to win - because when they step into the first-team at a club like Hearts, you need to win. That’s the most important thing.
"I’m over the moon and so proud of them. They give me everything they have on the training ground every day and I’m quite demanding with them in terms of what we expect.
"We know the ability they have. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t, and I can’t fault the level of effort they give me.
“They won’t always be at their best but the level of intensity and honesty I get is fantastic."
Image courtesy of Ron MacNeill