Kirkcaldy boy signs for Hearts

Pic Greg Macvean - 22/03/2017 - Hearts academy players signing their professional contracts for the club - Anthony McDonald
Pic Greg Macvean - 22/03/2017 - Hearts academy players signing their professional contracts for the club - Anthony McDonald

A Kirkcaldy boy was among eight young footballers signed by Heart of Midlothian last week.

Anthony McDonald, a former St Marie’s Primary pupil, will join the club as a full-time professional in the summer as part of the Riccarton under-20 squad under coaches Jon Daly, Andy Kirk and Liam Fox.

East of Scotland Shield- Hibernian v Hearts 22nd Sept 2016   Anthony McDonald scores Hearts 2nd   Neil Hanna Photography

East of Scotland Shield- Hibernian v Hearts 22nd Sept 2016 Anthony McDonald scores Hearts 2nd Neil Hanna Photography

Anthony started at Real Fife in 2009 and moved to Livingston in 2011. A year later, he joined Hearts youth academy, where he has been ever since.

Just after his 15th birthday last year Anthony became the youngest player ever to feature in the SFA Youth Cup Final at Hampden Park.

He was selected to play for Scotland at a year above his age group in 2015 when he went to Serbia to compete in a tournament.

He has since played in the Victory Shield at U16 level in October\November last year.

Anthony, who is enrolled in the SFA Performance School program based at Broughton High in Edinburgh, plays regularly for Hearts U20s side, which pits him against players a lot older and stronger as well as full time professionals.

Roger Arnott, academy manager at Hearts, described Anthony as an “attacking midfielder who can play centrally or in off the right side”, adding, “he’s left-footed and technically very good in one-versus-ones.

“He runs at people, has good awareness of the game and scores goals.”

Last week at Tynecastle, the club held a dinner to celebrate the boys coming through the academy and signing their first professional contracts.

The event was attended by Ann Budge, the owner, director of football Craig Levein and first team manager Ian Cathro.

Another three Fifers were among those signing on, namely Christopher Hamilton and Jay Sandison, both from Kelty, and Connor Smith from Cowdenbeath.