New Hearts signing Craig Halkett sets three major targets after Tynecastle move

Craig Halkett is ready to begin his Hearts career after leaving Livingston
Craig Halkett is ready to begin his Hearts career after leaving Livingston
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Craig Halkett is targeting European football, silverware and a Scotland cap as he prepares to get his Hearts career underway.

The defender agreed a pre-contract with the Edinburgh club in April and has signed a three-year deal to move from Livingston.

He will report to Riccarton for pre-season training on Friday aiming for major success. He wants to help Hearts qualify for European competition and win a trophy whilst also catching the attention of the Scotland manager Steve Clarke.

“I think the main aim for this season is going to have to be to try and get European football and get into the top three/top four spaces - then again reach cup finals and win a trophy," Halkett told Hearts TV. "I think over the next three years that’s got to be one of the main aims."

Scotland aspirations are also in his mind. "I think it’s got to be an ambition in the long term. My main aim just now is just to come into Hearts and stake a claim for a place in the team.

"I feel like I’ve got a lot to give for this team so I’ve got to do that first - once I start playing regular games then it’s something I can maybe look towards."

The 24-year-old acknowledged he faces a tough battle for game time alongside fellow centre-backs John Souttar, Christophe Berra and Clevid Dikamona.

“It’ll be a massive challenge to break in to the team first of all, but it was another reason why I wanted to come here - to play alongside the guys and learn from them.

"Playing against them the last few years, I could see how good the partnership John and Christophe had together. To go in and stake my claim for a place in the team will be pretty hard but it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to and it’s something that I want to do."

Excitement is building ahead of pre-season training and Halkett is eager to get started alongside his new colleagues. "You know most of the boys from playing against them week in, week out. I think it’ll be fine getting in to know everyone," he said.

"Looking at them, from the outside it looks like a great bunch of boys and I’m buzzing to get started and meet everyone. It’s quite daunting.

"It’s a brilliant stadium and like everyone says about close the fans are to the pitch you really do notice it when you’re playing. To come here this season and have the crowd on my side for a change will be really good.”