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Kevin McHattie: I've been hyper since making my derby debut.. now I want to be a regular Jambo
15 Dec 2012 10:06

By Gary Ralston

HEARTS teenager Kevin McHattie insists the experience of playing in the 1-1 draw with Hibs at the start of the season is driving him on in his bid to become at Tynecastle favourite.
Kevin McHattie Kevin McHattie

HEARTS starlet Kevin McHattie reckons knocking heads with Hibs has inspired him to go all the way in football.

Jambos boss John McGlynn has turned to the Scotland Under-21 defender after regular full-back Danny Grainger was KOd by a cruciate injury.

McHattie, 19, has responded with a series of fine performances to underline his reputation as one of the best prospects in the SPL.

He moved to Tynecastle from Dunfermline two and a half years ago and was sent out to Alloa last season to bolster his experience of first-team football.

McHattie’s career curve has climbed further this season and he admits the derby day experience has given him a thirst for more.

He said: “My highlight was when we drew 1-1 at Easter Road at the start of the season.

“It was a terrific experience although I was surprised to get the call to start.

“It was a great occasion, with all the hype surrounding my first derby.

“Turning out in that match just makes me want to play more and feature in even bigger games. It’s great being in the first team and I have settled in after the first couple of games.

“I had still prepared to feature as I was listed on the bench on a few occasions, so when Danny suffered his injury I was raring to go.

“That said, I was gutted for Danny because he was doing so well before then and he’s been a real help to me, offering lots of advice.

“He had his operation this week so hopefully it goes well and he will be back playing soon.”

McHattie was lured across the Forth after catching the eye of Hearts scouts playing for Scotland in an under-17 tournament in 2010.

He added: “I’m from Glenrothes and started out at Dunfermline when I was eight years old.


“I came through the youth ranks at East End Park and it was a good grounding, even though I grew up as a Raith Rovers fan – my grandad used to take me to games at Stark’s Park.”

McHattie will have no qualms about being pitched into the starting line-up again today for their SPL clash at McDiarmid Park, as the Jambos bid to leapfrog St Johnstone.

He added: “I started this season with the under-20s and it is a massive step up going into the first team.

“However, experienced players such as Marius Zaliukas and Andy Webster have really helped me to make that step.”

Taken from the Daily Record

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