BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
Sweden international goalkeeper Viktor Noring insists he is determined to wrestle the number one spot from Jack Hamilton after penning a two-year contract with Hearts.
The 25-year-old joins following a successful trial period at Tynecastle, turning in composed displays against Aberdeen and Cowdenbeath to win over Jambos head coach Robbie Neilson.
Noring, who had a loan spell at Celtic without playing a game in 2013, will go straight into the Hearts squad to face Birkirkara in the Europa League next week after he was registered with UEFA on Friday evening.
Despite Neilson previously suggesting that Scotland under-21 starlet Hamilton would be Neil Alexander’s successor between the sticks this term, Noring is adamant he is not in Edinburgh to sit on the bench.
Noring told Hearts TV: “It feels amazing to have signed here. It’s a good opportunity for me to come here and try to get the number one spot, so I’m very happy.
“You always have to complete in football and everyone wants to play. That is my ambition and my goal here.
“I know about Scottish football and I know about the Scottish mentality so I am sure I am going to have a positive experience.”
Noring, who boasts one cap for the Swedish national team, emerged through the ranks of Trelleborgs in his homeland before unsuccessful loan spells with Malmo and Celtic.
He joined Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt following his stint with the Hoops, doing enough to win a deal with Eredivisie outfit Heerenveen in June 2014 – however he left the club a year later having failed to make a single first-team appearance.
Noring was most recently on the books of Lyngby BK in Denmark before his release this summer.
Meanwhile, Hearts have been handed a further boost ahead of next Thursday’s trip to Malta after Don Cowie returned to contention for the Jambos.
The 33-year-old made 12 appearances last term following his arrival in January but was plagued by a persistent calf strain.
Neilson omitted Cowie from Hearts’ 25-man squad to face FC Infonet in the Europa League first qualifying round to give him more time to recover from the complaint, choosing to field him in last Saturday’s friendly against Cowdenbeath instead.
Having emerged unscathed from that outing at Central Park and come through another week of training, Neilson has registered the former Scotland international for the tie against Birkirkara.
He is likely to feature against Dunfermline at East End Park on Saturday afternoon, at which point the Hearts boss will decide if he has a part to play in Malta.