First Team

Youngsters impress

15th July 2015

Robbie Neilson pleased with performances of young players in last night's friendly defeat to Stirling Albion.

Robbie Neilson has admitted he’s disappointed with the result in last night’s friendly defeat to Stirling Albion, but can take comfort from the performances of his young players.

The Jambos went down 2-1 at Forthbank in the Supporters Direct Scotland Cup, in a match where more game-time was given to the stars of the future.

Recent full-time additions Lewis Moore, Leon Jones and Russell McLean – who bagged Hearts’ goal – started, as did Jahmal Howlett-Mundle, while second-half subs included Ian Smith and Daniel Baur.

Head coach Robbie conceded that he wasn’t happy with the result, but saw enough from his Wee Jambos to take some positives from the game.

Speaking to HeartsTV at full-time, he said: “To be honest, I’m disappointed with the result but pleased with the players that played. The older ones did well and the younger ones did well as well considering it’s a taste of first-team action playing against a decent Stirling Albion team.

“We left a lot of the first-team players behind just to rest them and get ready for the weekend down at Preston, so it was a very young team that came and I thought they done okay.

“With playing 16 and 17-year-olds at the back it’s a good learning curve for them. I’m disappointed to lose but all in all it’s part of the season where we just want to try and get fit, really.”

One unfamiliar face in the middle of the park last night was Dario Zanatta, a 18-year-old trialist from Canada.

Dario has been training with Jack Ross’ Development Squad and Robbie revealed he’s keen for him to come on board permanently.

“We’re trying to get Dario in,” he said. “He’s been at Vancouver and was on trial at the end of last season. He’s come back in again for pre-season and we like him, so we’re just trying to get something sorted.”