Conor Sammon's fate at Hearts sealed seven months ago

Conspiracy theorists among the section of the Hearts support who already appear to believe that director of football Craig Levein wields too much influence at the club will have those views reinforced by Conor Sammon's revelation that he was made aware seven months ago that he had no future at Tynecastle.

 Conor Sammon in action for Partick

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Of course, many players who find themselves frozen out under one manager can have their careers revived under his successor but Sammon claimed that Ian Cathro’s dismissal earlier this month was never going to alter his outsider status.

Consequently, when the opportunity came five days ago to join Partick Thistle on a season-long loan, he seized the opportunity to play regularly.

The former Republic of Ireland striker has two years remaining on his contract with Hearts but he does not anticipate pulling on a maroon jersey again. Although he appeared as a substitute in the 4-1 defeat by Celtic on the Premiership’s opening weekend, he was well aware that he had no future in the capital.


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“When I went back to Kilmarnock on loan in January I knew my future probably lay elsewhere,” said the 30-year-old.“You’re in that limbo position doing pre-season training but you know it won’t be where you will be come the start of the season and that was the frustrating factor.

“You’re also afraid of missing out on too much action so I was pleased with the timing when it came to get this done.”

Sammon had been signed from Derby County last summer by Robbie Neilson but scored just once in 23 appearances, with 13 of those coming as a substitute.

His loan spell at Rugby Park proved more productive, however; five goals from 14 starts helped the Ayrshire club avoid being sucked into the play-offs for a second year in a row. That form was not enough to earn him a second chance with Hearts, though, and he was not surprised to be made available.


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“No, because I know how football works,” he said. “It can be quite ruthless at times and I’m fully aware of the surroundings. There are lots of different things that come into play and I respect their decision.

“But I’m at the stage of my career where I want to play regularly rather than be a squad member or a bit-part player. It’s very frustrating when you’re training solidly through the week and then find you’re lucky to get 10-15 minutes at the weekend.

“That wasn’t what I was after so I’m looking to make the most of this opportunity with Thistle.”

Sammon also refused to cling to the false hope that th departure of Cathro, pictured, would present him with a second chance.


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“To be honest, I didn’t think that would change much for me,” he said. “They made some signings during the summer so I knew what my position was at the club and that my future lay elsewhere.”

Thistle have become Sammon’s tenth club in as many years and he admits that he would have preferred a more stable existence to his peripatetic lifestyle.

“It can be frustrating and it has been for the last five or six years where there have constantly been new surroundings and fresh starts,” he said.

“You do get used to it and, as you get a bit older, you learn how to deal with it a bit better. I’m much more mature now and better able to go into a dressing room as a stranger.


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“For example, you might have known players from facing them in the past. Ultimately, though, it’s quite a daunting thing going in there for the first time, getting to know the lads and settling in. I’m becoming a bit of a pro at it now, though.”