Craig Halkett making a big impact on Harry Cochrane at Hearts

Hearts' Craig Halkett. Picture: SNS
Hearts' Craig Halkett. Picture: SNS
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Harry Cochrane knew Hearts had made a quality signing when Craig Halkett smashed into the back of Steven MacLean in training. The defender’s courage and leadership are already clear less than three weeks since his arrival from Livingston.

Cochrane is not short on swagger himself but the 18-year-old is somewhat in awe of his new colleague.

“He is a quality player,” said the midfielder. “On his first day training with us, he jumped up for a header and went right through the back of Macca [MacLean]. He just smashed him. I don’t think Macca was too happy but I quite like that.

“He’s a great big defender, very solid. When I heard we were signing him, I said it was a great signing for us. Hopefully he kicks on and has a really good season.”

Cochrane is hoping for the same for himself. Injuries and illness restricted him to just eight first-team appearances for Hearts last term. The season before was his breakthrough year, when he played 25 times after debuting at the age of 16. There is some catching up to be done now.

He started in Angus Beith’s benefit match against Inverness on Monday night after a summer of trying to bulk up. “I’m not that big, which I say in every interview. With all the running we’re doing, I need to get a bit bigger so my legs can get cope with it,” said Cochrane.

“I get told to eat a lot. I do the gym every day I’m in at Hearts apart from days before a game. I get told to take protein shakes to get my weight up and try to get bigger.”