Football - Holt pleased to be young at Hearts

Teenager Jason Holt was always confident he could break into the Hearts first team when the man who spotted him as a nine-year-old was appointed as manager last summer.

PA Sport

The 19-year-old midfielder has become a regular in recent weeks as manager John McGlynn continues to increase the contingent of academy graduates in the first team.

Then a Tynecastle coach, McGlynn was the man who tipped the Hearts youth department off about Holt when he was playing for Musselburgh Windsor boys' club and later gave him his first start in senior football during a loan spell at Raith Rovers.

McGlynn's faith in youth paid off in style when a starting XI featuring seven players aged 21 and under took Hearts into the Scottish Communities League Cup final, and they face Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League unbeaten in three games.

Recalling his first encounter with McGlynn, Holt said: "I was about eight and playing for my local team. Then Hearts came in when I was about nine and just took it from there, went into the academy here and that was it.

"It's been brilliant. Any boy growing up, if they were asked if they wanted to play for the team they supported, they would jump at it, so I'm really grateful for the opportunity.

"When he was appointed, all of us knew that we would get a chance at some point. It was just a case of working hard.

"He said before if we were doing well we would get a chance and he has proved that with the amount of youngsters in the team."

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