Josh Ginnelly on learning the Hearts Song, new role, topping tests and when Robbie Neilson wanted to sign him
Just when some supporters didn’t think they could like him any more, footage of the winger reacting to the Hearts Song being sung around Tynecastle Park by 2,000 fans became very popular on social media.
He had not long been subbed in the 3-0 League Cup win over Cove Rangers and was named man of the match by Premier Sports when the camera cut to him looking around the ground in wonderment.
It was akin to a child entering a toy shop for the first time.
Ginnelly said: "I’ve spoken to, not including the boys here, about 10, 15 boys and every single one say, ‘wow’, they’ve never really played in a stadium like Tynecastle.
"When I came back I got a good reception in terms of social media and then in the game against Cove they started singing the Hearts song and I was like, ‘wow, this is only 2,000 people’. I can imagine when we’ve got 16,000 or whatever it is.
"It’s massive and for a player to hear that when you are on the pitch is great.”
He added: “I know a bit of the Hearts song, I’ll have to practice a bit more.”
New role and goal target
That Cove victory saw the 24-year-old combine excellently with Michael Smith down the right-hand side in what is a new role for him in Robbie Neilson’s 3-4-3 system.
Able to impact the game out wide or more centrally he, having had the best goals to minutes ratio in the Championship, could be a crucial goal threat.
“I’m enjoying it, it’s a new challenge for me because I’ve never played in that kind of area, I’m more a touchline wide and get at my man,” he explained.
"The gaffer, Jig [Lee McCulloch] and Gordy [Forrest] are working on rotations to get me out wide but I’m also making space for Smudge, who is brilliant going forward as well.
"It’s something I want to add to my game as well, I can play narrow or wide – it’s lot more strings to my bow.
"I’ve got a goal target but I keep my targets pretty private. I just want to perform well.”
Top of the tests
Neilson revealed he was keen on signing Ginnelly permanently within the first couple of weeks of his loan spell from Preston. And, fitness permitting, is sure “he'll make a huge difference” to the team this season.
For the player, he’s ensured he has and is doing everything he can to be that player for Hearts, including coming in three times a week during the off season.
“I have done everything that’s been set out for me, I trust the guys here who do that side of the game,” Ginnelly said. “I have worked hard, on all the tests I have come out on top so I feel good.
“I have a lot to thank the medical team for and probably repay them. They came in during the summer when they could have been with their families.
“But it sums up the club we have here and that’s credit to the manager as he selects these people to work with them.”
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