Jamie Brandon set for Hearts exit after signing pre-contract with Premiership rivals

Livingston have announced the pre-contract signing of full-back Jamie Brandon from Hearts on a three-year deal.

The 24-year-old has been on loan at Morton since January after injuries dented his chances of establishing him at Tynecastle.

Brandon, who has been capped by Scotland Under-21s, will join up with the Lions when they return for pre-season training in mid-June.

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Manager David Martindale told the Livingston website: "Jamie will come in and compete in an area of the park where we need competition for next season, although he can also play in numerous other positions due to his versatility and footballing ability.

"He's a young player that I've seen play on a number of occasions over the years and his desire and appetite always impressed me.

"I believe his style of play fits into the ethos we have built at the club. He is a good sort on and off the park and I feel he has all the attributes to be a Premiership footballer.

"There's no doubt in my mind that with the staff and infrastructure we have at the club, along with the player's application, Jamie will become a better player and ultimately, that has to be the aim for any player that we bring into the club.

"I am looking forward to working with Jamie and seeing what he can bring to the first-team squad."

Hearts right-back Jamie Brandon has signed a pre-contract agreement with Livingston. (Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group)

Livingston are well placed to finish top of the bottom half of the cinch Premiership, although midfielder Jason Holt admits there is a lingering sense of disappointment that his side are not in the top six competing for a European place.

"There are a lot of positives from the season but I think probably a sense of disappointment at not making the top six," said Holt ahead of Wednesday's trip to St Mirren. "The squad was more than capable of doing that so I think there was a wee bit of underachievement in my opinion. It's fine margins throughout the season.

"At the start of the season the club's ambition is to stay in the league but when you look at the squad I think we're more than capable of being higher. That's the way I feel about it but there are still positives to take over the course of the season."

Holt, 29, is approaching the end of his second season and the former Rangers and Hearts player has enjoyed being cast as a senior player in a tight dressing-room.

"I've loved it so far," he said. "I've played consistently which was the aim when I came. I really enjoy coming to work every day. The manager creates an environment where you want to come into your work and do well. The team spirit within the lads is the biggest thing.

"Since Livingston came up from the Championship, even before I came to the club, they've done extremely well. The vibe and the environment that the manager puts in place, with the players he recruits, takes the squad a long way."

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