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REMEMBRANCE SERVICE

The Association will be laying a wreath at the Annual Remembrance Service at Haymarket on the 11th November.  The service starts at 10.50am.  Be there sharp if you are attending.  As it is the 100th anniversary of the end of The First World War, the Club has organised some extra events, including a Memorial Walk to Tynecastle after the service.  Check out the Hearts web site for all details.

RAFFLES

We continue to raise funds from our monthly meeting raffles.  For the second month in a row we raised an excellent £600.  Many thanks to all those who purchased tickets and especially to the increasing number who have donated prizes. This is much appreciated and, of course, means we can donate more funds to the Club.

HAYMARKET CLOCK

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Club has commissioned a model of the Haymarket Clock, which is now on display in the Hearts Museum.  Created by Powderhall Bronze, the bronze replica will remain at Tynecastle for evermore.  The Association has joined a number of groups who made donations towards the cost of production.  The museum will be open at our next Dinner Meeting (29th November) for members and guests to view the clock.

 

NEXT MEETING

31st January        AGM   Guest Speaker   Roger Arnott, Manager, Hearts Academy

 

 

 

January 2018 Meeting

 

Our guests for the AGM meeting were John Colquhoun and Darren Murray. John is a former Hearts star playing 345 games over two spells at the Club. His other Clubs include Stirling Albion, Celtic and Millwall. He has won two caps for Scotland and was Rector of Edinburgh University, played a major part in the Players' Union. He is a players' agent and is owner of Box Soccer Scotland. Darren is currently Head of Coach Education at Hearts after returning from a spell in Coventry City with Elvis and Neil Macfarlane. In a previous spell with the Club as a youth coach, Darren played a major role in the development of such players as Berra, Walker, Nicholson and Callum Paterson.

 

The meeting was supposed to be a Q and A but John and Darren very quickly turned the evening into the John and Darren Show with the odd question thrown in!

The evening commenced with an explanation of Box Soccer. It's a Football Training Development Programme. It’s all about small sided boxes used to develop all aspects of football. Everything that happens in a game of football can be replicated in a box. When Craig Levein went to Dundee United, he asked why four or five players coming through the youth set up were better than the rest and was told that it was because of the training programme they did with Ian Cathro.  Levein wanted to know more and went to see first hand and within two months he had hired Ian Cathro to be in charge of youth development at United. JC liked the whole philosophy of Box Soccer and wanted to buy it. It was not for sale so set up a new company and then bought it from Ian Cathro. CL is now implementing Box Soccer at Hearts and DM is a huge influence to the players in teaching them to be winners.

Thanks to Box Soccer and the Hearts coaches the current youth players are the best at Hearts for years. JC stated that people keep saying that players have changed, he doesn't believe that. He thinks that the way they are treated has changed. Parents and grandparents are scared to say 'no', everything is handed to players on a plate. At Hearts, we are a bit more old school and we put demands onto the players, and if you can't do something, you get shown how to do it and if you do it wrong you get told that you are doing it wrong so you can improve and do it right. Under Darren Murray, Roger Arnott and CL, JC promises you will see some of the best players not just at Hearts but in Scotland coming through in the next few years. We are starting to see the benefits just now with the number of youngsters starting to play in the first team. JC encourages anyone to go to the Academy on a Tuesday or Wednesday night and see for yourselves how good it is. DM and JC then went through some of the practices and techniques used at Riccarton. At the Academy they teach the players techniques in threes, because two isn't enough and four is too many to master. In this situation the players are taught to reach for  the  player with hands up, drop the hips, then bend your knees to get the balance right or 'reach' 'protect' 'away' and this is taught so that it sinks in and becomes second nature to them.

They also teach 'thought' 'movement' and 'ball', speed of thought, knowing what's going to happen and what you are going to do, speed of movement, being quick to do what you want to do, speed of ball, firing the ball into your team mates because you trust that they can deal with it. When you watch the Youth Teams train at Riccarton, they are playing with such pace and firing the balls into each other knowing that they can deal with it and it's a joy to see. Players are empowered to make their own decisions. Harry Cochrane has the potential to slow the game down like Paul Scholes used to whilst everyone else is playing at 100 mph. He looks like he has got so much time. He still has a long way to go and needs to keep developing his skills. The coaches are there to provoke thought and ultimately let the players make the decisions. JC and OM were glowing in their praise for Ian Cathro and were asked why it didn't work for him at Hearts. JC - Ian Cathro is a coaching genius, he has coached all over Europe and UK and is highly regarded by players everywhere he has coached, but  managing people and players is totally different  and he didn't really ever get to grips with this. Hearts are a great Club and the  fans demand a lot  from the players and the jersey can be heavy for some players and the Managers job is a huge job in Scottish football and some people struggle with that. JC was asked whether Michael Stewart will ever praise Craig Levein again! Yes he will, said JC, so he can say I praised when he did well and I just call it as I see it (The way JC said this was uncanny and sounded just like Michael Stewart!)

JC and OM finished off by saying that for HMSA to raise £9000 to put towards the new players lounge was amazing and to come out in numbers on a cold January night to hear about Hearts Academy shows just what sort of fans Hearts have in abundance. The way that the fans rallied to save their Club is truly remarkable.

John and Darren got resounding applause for giving us another great night.

 

Donation

 

At our Annual General Meeting on 25t h January 2018 it was agreed to donate the sum of £9000 to the Club towards the Tynecastle Development Fund. Along with our donation last year of £6000, these funds will be used to develop the Players Lounge in the New Stand and a notice will be displayed outside the lounge saying that HMSA are sponsors of the lounge.

Raffles

 

Our raffle at the November meeting made the fantastic sum of £418 and our January AGM meeting raised a further £329. As always thanks to those who purchased tickets and a big thank you for the growing number who are donating prizes. We are running a special raffle where the prizes are the signed jerseys of our sponsored players, Don Cowie and Kyle Lafferty, as well as a jersey signed by all the players and management. There will also be a number of other prizes.

These are much valued prizes and tickets are only £2.50 each. Buy as many as you want. The draw will be made at our April Player of the Year Dinner.

 

November 2017

 

Our guest at the November meeting was former Hearts and Everton star, Gary Naysmith. Gary played 96 times for Hearts before moving on to a successful career at Everton. After spells at Sheffield United, Huddersfield and Everton, he moved into management firstly with East Fife and currently at Queen of the South. Gary won 46 international caps and was a cup winner at Hearts in 1998 aged 19. A lively Q and A session ensued when Gary stood up with the microphone. Here are some of his answers{! will let you guess the questions!). Gary trained as a youth with Hearts Chelsea and Hibs. He liked Chelsea but didn't want to leave home and as his sister was Hearts daft, he could not sign for Hibs and stay at home!  Walter Kidd, a Hearts coach at the time decided he should be a full back (he was playing midfield/striker at the time). Walter was right.  As a youth player he had to help the groundsman and also clean the kit of the first team players. He also had to be the butt of the banter of the first team dressing room.  He remembers Stevie Fulton being a good mentor. When he started to play in the first team, Stevie used to tell him 'if you get stuck just pass the ball to me and run up the line. Most times he got the ball back. Although many people thought his debut was against Celtic his actual debut was against Motherwell as a sub the season before. His first start debut against Celtic in 1996 was memorable. The previous week Hearts had four players sent off at lbrox (hence the debut) and he still has the mountain bike he received as the 'Man of the Match' award. He well remembers the cracking goal he scored against St Johnstone. It followed a spell of loss of form due to a lack of application at training and a stiff lecture from Jim Jefferies about his attitude. Gary nearly moved to Coventry City from Hearts but he was away on international duty and Everton came in with a bigger bid which Hearts accepted before the Coventry deal was sealed. Everton are a massive Club. You could get away with a poor game at Hearts but not at Everton. He played alongside and against some great players.. Wayne Rooney was coming through the ranks at Everton and he played against the likes of Gazza, Ronalda and David Beckham. The best Manager he played for was definitely Walter Smith, he took an interest in every player at the Club, and was always the same on Monday whether the team had won, drawn or lost on the Saturday. David Moyes was a great tactician but moody for days if the team got beaten. Moyes needs to do well at West Ham to resurrect his career.

Jim Jefferies was the scariest while under Archie Knox at Sheffield United, he was at his fittest. Surprisingly he does not remember much about the 1998 Cup Final. • He watched the whole game years later and realised how much pressure Rangers put them under. He also remembers getting drunk afterwards and getting on the roof of the bus. He has good memories of the late Stefano Salvatori although Stefano was a quiet guy, on the pitch he was a player every team needs. He allowed players like Cameron, Flagel and Fulton to go forward and he would cover for them, and he and Giles Rousset were great mentors for him. His views on referees are quite surprising. He sees others getting really worked up about them but he never bothers. They have a horrible job which he would hate to do. The referees in the lower divisions are !!!!!!! dreadful though. He doesn't like players who go down so easily. They didn't do that in his day, although its part and parcel of the game now. He does not see Celtic being caught in Scotland any time soon. Celtic have a great manager in Brendan Rogers who is very good at improving players. The International side is going nowhere at the moment. We have to start developing young players in numbers before that will change. Gary reckons that the biggest challenge for him as a young manager is to stop his hair going grey I While only starting in management often you have to release a lot of players and bring in your own to get what you want. This can take time. Also you can't try different systems unless you have the players who can do it. Finally on Hearts, he would not be drawn on his favourite Manager, but he is a Hearts fan and thinks they will develop under Craig Levein but he will need a couple of transfer windows to put his stamp on the team.

The evening finished with a rousing round of applause for Gary and a unanimous belief that this had been one of our great nights.

 

February 2016 Dinner

 

Our guests for the February Dinner represented the old and the new at Hearts.  Former Hearts star David

Bowman and new under 20’s coach Jon Daly.  Dave played at Hearts from 1980-84 alongside John

Robertson and Gary Mackay and after a short spell at Coventry City he had a dazzling career at Dundee

United which included Scottish Cup success, a EUFA Cup Final and was capped six times for Scotland.  

He is now a coach at Dundee United.  Jon, who was born in Dublin and played in England before Craig

Levein signed him for Dundee United in 2007 where he played as a striker before joining Rangers between

2013-15.  He was playing for Raith Rovers when Hearts appointed him as the under 20’s coach.

There was a busy Q and A session with these guys.

 

First up, not surprisingly was the recent Dundee United Hearts match at Tannadice.  Both our guests

thought that that the refereeing was very poor and in particular the sending off of Jordan McGhee was a

mistake which, of course had a major effect on the game.

Jon was asked if he found managing different than playing. Yes he said, especially not waking up with

aches and pains. Although he had expected to play for another couple of years he was delighted when

Hearts contacted him about the under 20’s coaching job.  It was the right job at the right Club he said.

Robbie and Craig have been great in helping him settle in and he enjoys working all day rather than

finishing training  at lunch time and going home. Youth development is the way forward for all Scottish

teams and believes that mixing young and older players in the same team helps to develop the youngsters.  

He is also a fan of loaning out players to lower divisions where he feels that they get regular games and

invaluable experience.  On the other side of the coin, Robbie speaks to him on a daily basis about the youth

players, their progress and how they have trained, rewarding them by letting them train with the first team

if they are playing well.  As you would expect Robbie takes a keen interest in the youth teams looking for

players he can promote to the first team.  Liam Smith is a good current example and Jon also mentioned

Angus Beith and Danny Baur as players to look out for.  Robbie has the final decision but he emphasised it  

a big step up for the young players to come into the first team.

 

Unsurprisingly Dave was asked what it was like to be managed by Jim McLean.  Dave replied that at the

end of the day he was a wonderful manager but the dressing room was no place to be at half time or full

time if the team was losing(or even drawing!).  Having said that he built an amazing team and by and large

kept them together albeit he could make money on the transfer market.  Dave gave very high praise to his

fellow players in that team like David Narey and Paul Hegarty. They never went out on the park not believing they would win which is best illustrated in their double victory against a star studded Barcelona  in the EUFA Cup.

 

Dave also talked about his move away from Hearts in 1984.  He did not want to go and has great memories

of his time at Hearts.  He said that he, Robbo and Gary Mackay knew that one of them would be sold and

as it turned out it was Dave that was moved on to Coventry City.  He did not enjoy it there and was pleased

when Jim McLean came in for him.

There was a good question about so many players nowadays being out injured.  They both agreed that they

had played through injuries firstly because it was expected and secondly it could be very difficult to get

back in the team if they didn’t . They acknowledged that in particular the overseas players will not play if

they are injured as they are more aware of the consequences of playing while injured and that a football

career can be a short one.  There is a lot of publicity too of players suffering from dementia in their

advanced years from heading the ball.  Jon noted that the ball used in games now is much lighter.

The advantages and disadvantages of artificial pitches was mentioned.  While they both believed that

Premiership games should be played on grass pitches they could see the benefits of artificial pitches for

training purposes particularly for the youngsters.  The artificial pitches can be used in all weathers which is

an advantage.

 

Both guests had strong views on refereeing in the game.  While it is inevitable that they will make mistakes

they do feel that referees need to be more consistent and should be made to be more accountable, bad

decisions should be acknowledged ,and that they should explain their decisions after the match.  TV

replays would they feel interrupt the flow of the game and they were not sure what the exact role is of the

fourth official!  Having said that Dave was probably at his most animated when saying there is no place in

the game for simulation.  Also talented players like Jamie Walker and Sam Nicholson need to be protected

by the referees.

 

They were both quite keen on summer football.  Jon said that it had been successful in Ireland.  It helps

prepare teams for the early games in Europe and of course grass pitches are in better condition.

To sum up it was a most enjoyable and interesting evening from two guys who really are worth listening to

and we are very grateful for them giving up their time.  Thank you Jon and Dave.

 

Donations

 

Following the decisions made at the AGM on 28th January, the Association will donate the sum of £3000 to

the Academy at Riccarton for a specific project to be decided by the coaching team.  A further £3000 has

been  donated to the new Hearts museum at Tynecastle.  The museum is due to open in the summer of 2016

 

and curator Caroline Mathers is delighted to receive this sum which will be used to help with the fixtures

and fittings required to make this project a first class visitor centre for all football fans.

 

1914 Memorial Trust

 

The Annual Dinner will be held on 7th May in the Gorgie Suite. This will be a most enjoyable evening with

excellent after dinner speakers and all funds raised will go towards the statue now nearing completion.

 

Big Hearts

 

Check out the Big Hearts web site if you would like to join the army of volunteers already subscribed.  

Many of our members are already volunteers.  No money is involved and your time can be as much or as

little as you want.  No particular skills are required but you may well have one they can use.

 

Fund Raising

 

We never fail to be amazed at the generosity of our members, both in buying raffle tickets and for

donations for our monthly dinner raffles.For the next three months we are raffling the Poppy Jersey of Morgaro Gomis worn by him in our victory against Hamilton Academical on 7th November.  Added to this prize asset we have the signed jerseys of our sponsored players Captain Alim Ozturk and Blazej Augustyn. The ticket price for this raffle is a very reasonable £2.50.  All proceeds will go to the Academy at Riccarton.

 

We also have a Hearts ball signed by the 1998 Scottish Cup winning team and a 2014/15 jersey signed by

all coaching staff and players of this Championship winning year which will be used to raise funds.

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Previous Meetings

Ann BA Eric A&E Ann2 Alan Preston Lawrence Broadie Scott & Scot Scott Scot Committee