Lewis Moore has thanked the coaching staff for giving him the confidence to make the first team breakthrough at Hearts.
The pacey winger burst onto the top team scene during the 2019/20 campaign and put on a series of impressive showings in a maroon shirt.
He was today rewarded for those performances with a two-year contract extension, and Lewis was quick to thank his coaches for putting their faith in him.
Speaking in an interview with Capital City Press, the 21-year-old said: “I was on loan at Falkirk and that really didn’t work out, so my thought was ‘how am I supposed to get in the Hearts team?’ I assumed I would come back, get sent straight back out on loan then be looking for a new club in the summer.
“But Andy Kirk was moved up to first-team coach and he was someone who believed in me. He said to the manager ‘take a look at this guy!’ I came back to training and we did an 11 vs 11 drill one day and the gaffer was pleased with how I did. That weekend I started against Airdrie and it took off from there.
“The gaffer gave me an opportunity and the main thing is his style really suited me. You never feel like you are there to make up the numbers with him and, given I’ve not always believed in myself enough, that is exactly what I needed as a player.
“It was sink or swim for me. I know the script at a club the size of Hearts. I’ve seen so many boys over the years who have gone into the last six months of their deals and not done enough and I said to myself: ‘Time to get the finger out’. I didn’t want to be the next one out the door.
“I look at a lot of talented players, who slipped down the leagues and are maybe not playing at the level they should be. That’s the way their careers panned out - but I wanted to play for Hearts. As far as I’m concerned, anywhere else is stepping down a level and I realise that.
“No matter what division the club is in next season, I never wanted to leave Hearts. I’ve heard from plenty of people over the years, you don’t realise what you’ve got until you leave - the facilities, the coaches, the stadium. It’s a huge club.”
The club thanks Capital City Press for allowing quotes from their interview to appear on heartsfc.co.uk