Loan trio to be unleashed on First Division

Picture by JANE BARLOW. 12th November 2011. Scottish FA Youth Cup 3rd round match between Hibernian and Hearts at Easter Road, Edinburgh. Pictured is Hibs' Daniel Handling and Hearts Jason Holt.
Picture by JANE BARLOW. 12th November 2011. Scottish FA Youth Cup 3rd round match between Hibernian and Hearts at Easter Road, Edinburgh. Pictured is Hibs' Daniel Handling and Hearts Jason Holt.
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JOHN McGlynn could be set to hand three ‘exciting’ new arrivals their Raith Rovers debuts on Saturday in a team shake-up following four consecutive defeats without a goal.

Highly-rated Hearts under 19 stars Jason Holt, David Smith and Jamie Walker all arrived at Stark’s Park last week, signing short-term loan deals that will keep them at the club until January.

The trio have been described in some quarters as ‘three of the best young players in Scotland’, and McGlynn is considering throwing them all straight into the team for the visit of Hamilton Accies on Saturday.

Attacking

He told SportsPress: “Could I start all three on Saturday? That’s a distinct possibility.

“We’ve not scored in our last four games, so we need something in the attacking third, and all three are attacking players.

“We could do with a freshness, and hopefully these guys will bring something different to our team that will unlock opponent’s defences.

“They are not quite ready to go into Hearts first team yet, but the club do have high hopes for them.”

The arrival of the Hearts trio is likely to push some of Raith’s own academy graduates further down the pecking order, but McGlynn stressed that the new arrivals come armed with a rich pedigree.

“These guys are internationals at under 19 level and have played at the highest level – that’s the real difference,” he said.

“The SPL under 19 league is a far better standard than the SFL, and depending on who you listen to, Jason Holt is the best player in that league.

Boost

“The three of them are quite a capture, and it’s a real boost to competition levels within the squad.

“People won’t be thinking it’s quite so easy to pick up a jersey and hopefully that will bring a wee edge to our existing players.

“The timing is quite good. We’re bringing something new and fresh to the club that may just make us a wee bit less predictable. They are direct, quick and technically gifted, so they should cause problems.”

Holt, Smith and Walker all featured in 3-0 win over Berwick Rangers in a closed-doors friendly on Saturday. Club director Turnbull Hutton watched the match and commented: “They certainly bring something different. It was nice to see a winger take on and beat his man.”

Iain Davidson, Scott McBride and Joe Hamill are all ruled out of the Hamilton match through injury.