Following the Annual General Meeting business the members present were given a presentation by First
Team Sports Scientist John Hill. John is a Wolverhampton lad (Wolves fan originally but now a fully fledged Jambo!) who came to Edinburgh to study obtaining a Masters degree at Edinburgh University. Following an internship at Edinburgh Rugby, John joined Hearts looking after the young teenagers but has now risen in the ranks to be sports scientist for the first team. With the use of visual aids and film of the players (starring Callum Paterson and Jamie Walker) John went through a typical day at the Academy. Firstly warm up exercises , working in the gym, building up body strength and training outside which would emulate the work done by the players during an actual game. Emphasis for John was building up the physical strength of the players, holding and shielding the ball very well illustrated using the recent 0 0 draw with Celtic at Parkhead. Tailoring individual fitness programmes is a very important part of the job in particular those players who have been injured. We were shown the exercises used to bring Jamie Walker back to full fitness after a long lay off and operation. Heart monitors are used to make sure the player is working hard but also to ensure that his body is coping with recuperation programme.
John is also an expert on the diets and lifestyle of the players. John explained that although they do not
have the players 24 hours a day they can advise on these topics to maximise fitness levels. He explained
that all the players buy into this making his job a bit easier! He is a self confessed ‘sports scientist geek’
and being part of Heriot Watt has allowed him to go to lectures, visit other clubs like Manchester United to
keep himself completely up to date with the latest tecniques. This was a fascinating presentation and an eye opener to all our members and further proof that no stone is left unturned not only to improve the first team performance but make Riccarton a great place for all academy players to improve themselves in every way and optimise their careers in football. While we all look to the newspapers to read about management and players it is obvious that John and sports science have an equal part to play in making Hearts a successful Club.
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 will
be donated to the new Hearts museum at Tynecastle. The museum is due to open in the summer of 2016
and curator Caroline Mather 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
Bill Alves represented the Association at the 1914 Memorial Trust Committee meeting on 27th January.
Sufficient cash has been raised to produce the magnificent statue currently under production. The statue
will be positioned next to the new Memorial Garden at Tynecastle and should be on view there by this
summer. The Committee will continue with fundraising in order to purchase a plinth and for future
The Annual Dinner will be held on 7th May in the Gorgie Suite with excellent after dinner speakers and is a
not to be missed evening.
The Association was represented at a catch up meeting on 2nd February with Big Hearts General Manager
Caryn Kerr and Hearts Supporter Groups. Caryn reported that 2015 has been a successful year for Big
Hearts with the launch of their new ‘family focussed’ strategy. The Kinship Care Programme was
launched and Football Memories continued to flourish. In 2016 they will continue to grow the existing
programmes, as well as create new programmes, where need is identified.
Caryn reported ‘ The Big Hearts Supporter Movement is an initiative designed to encourage fans of the
Club to become involved in a way we don’t believe has been seen in any other football club in Scotland.
Recognising the huge financial contributions by the Hearts fans already to support the Club, this is not a
financial ask. Every single Hearts fan will be able to get involved in some way, however big or small and
in a manner that suits them.’
This new initiative will be launched in the middle of February with a new website going live. The website
will allow for fans to sign up to become ‘Big Hearts Supporters’ and there will be further promotion at the
home game against Kilmarnock on Saturday 27th February which will be a Big Hearts Day. Volunteers are
required to help out on the match day and anyone interested should contact [email protected]
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. Ticket prices 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.