Hearts arrange early pre-season match which could include fans

Hearts have finalised plans for a pre-season friendly next month just 11 days after players report back to Riccarton for training.

Hearts are due to play Linlithgow Rose at Prestonfield next month.

Manager Robbie Neilson agreed to play East of Scotland League side Linlithgow Rose at Prestonfield in a game which could take place in front of supporters.

It is scheduled for a 3pm kick-off on Saturday, June 26, and the Linlithgow manager Brown Ferguson is anticipating some household names featuring for the visitors.

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Hearts players are due back for pre-season training on June 15 and Ferguson is delighted that one of their first outings will be in West Lothian.

“I just got in touch with Robbie. I know him reasonably well so I just asked if Hearts were interested in an early pre-season match, which they are. We’re delighted to get them at home,” Ferguson told the Evening News.

“I believe it will be a strong Hearts line-up as well so it’s a great opportunity for our players to go and test themselves against a very good team. It will be one of our biggest challenges and it’s a bit of a glamour game for us.

“Hearts will put out the team that is best for them so hopefully nothing happens with Covid to stop the game going ahead. From my conversation with Robbie, he is intending to put out a strong side. We are grateful they are coming here and they will be well looked after.”

Prestonfield’s capacity is 2,264 fans, including just over 300 seats, but it remains to be seen how many will be permitted entry on the day.

“A lot of people are desperate to go and watch games of football. We are hoping to have fans in,” confirmed Ferguson. “Depending on legislation, the club will try to accommodate what crowd they can safely and within the guidelines. We hope to get fans into all our pre-season matches.

“We have six games organised and Hearts is one of the middle two. We play Whitburn and Pollock away first, then it’s Hearts at home, then we are away to Armadale before home matches with Bonnyrigg Rose and Bo’ness United.

“Some of those teams we don’t normally play against because we are in different leagues so it will be a good run of games for us.”

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