October 2012 Dinner
After the Share Issue presentation from Sergejus Fedotovas and an excellent meal, 180 members and guests present settled down for our scheduled guest speakers for the evening. Unfortunately Jim Jefferies had to call off that morning due to commitments at Dunfermline Athletic but Alan Anderson was ready and willing. Jim deeply regretted his inability to attend but has promised to come to another meeting whenever he is asked.
Alan, of course, played for Hearts from 1963-76, a period unheard of these days and at a cost of £2500 when signed from Scunthorpe United it must be one of the best bit of business Hearts have ever done. Alan said that, as a Hearts supporter, he was delighted to sign even if wages dropped from £35 to £30 per week!
Memories of players and matches of that era flooded back and Alan related stories of Jim Cruickshank, Malcolm Robertson and many others. Even Sir Alex Ferguson got a mention Alan relating the time he elbowed Sir Alex in a match against Falkirk (Sir Alex retaliated, says Alan, and was sent o
September 2012 Dinner
Following our successful Dinner last month with the First Team Management, the Committee thought it appropriate to invite the Youth Team Coach, Darren Murray and Director of Football, John Murray who brought along one of Hearts brightest young stars Dale Carrick.
The members and their guests were in a happy mood after a rare away win against Dundee United the previous Saturday and steady progression in the League Cup during the week following a victory against Livingston, but did not let our guests ‘off the hook’ with their questions and in turn the answers they received left us with a clearer picture of the current situation at Hearts.
Many of the questions concerned the current crop of players at Hearts, both young and older, and their future. It is clear that wages are dropping, not just at Hearts, and although players such as Webster and Zaliukas are highly regarded and will be offered new contracts it is unsure that they will accept them. Of the younger players the management were pleased that Ryan McGowan decided to stay at Hearts with his younger brother Dylan, and not move to Rangers in August, but again , although Ryan loves the Club and the city, it is uncertain he will stay longer term. Darren Murray believes we have an excellent crop of youth players. Callum Patterson has made an immediate impact this season, but Darren warns he is, at aged 17, just a raw talent at the moment. Dale Carrick has also joined the first team squad and we will be seeing more of him. Jason Holt, regarded by the SFA as the most talented Scottish player of his generation, has stalled a little but the Youth Coach believes he will be back to his best soon. Dylan McGowan is another who is waiting in the wings.
A number of questions concerned how the first team and youth teams interact. Darren explained that the under 19 team will play in the same style as the first team in order to make transition to the first team easier and help the kids slot in quickly. As well as training and developing football skills, diet and lifestyle are very important parts of youth development at Hearts.
John Murray spoke at length about the continued effort to bring the best youth players to the Club. He genuinely believes that the standard of football skills has deteriorated over the last 20 years, not only in Scotland but also in the rest of Europe. He justifies his case by pointing out how many tall African players are now playing for the top European and English sides at the moment. It is, he concedes, very difficult to find natural strikers of the John Robertson mould.
An evening with Hearts Management would not be complete without the question ‘Is Rudy coming back?’ The answer is that that nobody seems to know. The Club would appear to still be in touch with Rudy and he still is a free agent and would like to play for Hearts again.. However, in the current climate he would have to sign for a lot less money than he was receiving and whether he is prepared to do that remains unclear.
Over the last two dinner meetings the Association has had all people in charge of the teams at Tynecastle in attendance. This has given us a unique opportunity to learn and understand the present policies and current situation at the Club and the direction in which they wish to go. What is clear is that irrespective of their personal talents and abilities, they all get on, respect and work with each other. This can only help the teams play better and is vital for team spirit.