Football Academy

Rankin: Boys are buzzing for Derby

16th August 2019

John Rankin says his boys are absolutely buzzing for the Edinburgh Derby that kicks off the Under-18 league campaign this evening.

The wee Jambos take on Hibs at the Hibernian Training Centre in Tranent in a 7pm kick-off tonight and John is looking forward to getting underway.

"It's the second year of under-18s so the boys now know what we're expecting from them - ideas, a style of play. They've had over eight weeks to adjust and adapt to full-time football.

"There's not a lot of change. The way we work at the club, the boys move on pretty quickly and go into reserve team football."

"It's a 2002 competition this year. We've got Aaron Hickey and Connor Smith not playing at that level at this moment in time because they're involved with the first team.

Belshill-born Rankin is no stranger to an Edinburgh derby, having played against the Jambos nine times for the men in green. Despite this not being a first-team fixture, he revealed the boys were still fired up for the occasion.

 

"It's everything. It really is. The boys have been looking forward to it as soon as the fixtures came out and they saw the first game is away to Hibs.

"They're buzzing, they're looking forward to it and this week I've noticed a wee difference in them. They're up, the tempo in training has been really high.

"Now that it's here, there's probably a wee bit of nerves kicking in as well. I've been involved in a few derbies at under-18 level and it's the same as first team.

"It's foot to the floor the full game. It's about maintaining your composure as well in the game. We've got some really good talent on show, and hopefully they can show that composure that we're looking for.

"We're taking them out their comfort zone and now they're playing in an Edinburgh derby at under-18s. Hopefully we can hit the ground running tomorrow night and start with a good result and a good performance as well."

You can watch all of John's interiew of HeartsTV by clicking here.