HEARTS youngster Harry Cochrane has revealed he aims to follow in the footsteps of Celtic’s Kieran Tierney as he chases his dream of playing for Scotland.
The 16-year-old has caught the eye this season after making his first-team breakthrough at Tynecastle under Craig Levein.
The highly-rated midfielder has made 10 appearances and hit the headlines with the goal that sent the Jambos on their way to their stunning and historic 4-0 victory over Celtic last month to end the Hoops’ domestic unbeaten run.
The strike earned the teenager the SPFL goal of the month for December and he confesses it is the high point of his fledgling career so far.
However, the Scottish FA Performance School graduate is hopeful there will be plenty more highlights in the future after setting himself ambitious targets.
He said: “It sounds like an obvious answer but [my highlight is] the goal against Celtic.
“That was the best day of my life, so far.
“Christophe Berra had been moaning at me for not shooting earlier in the game, so I knew I had to let fly the next chance I got. Thankfully it paid off.
“I have to thank Craig Levein and Hearts for showing the faith they have in me.
“I hope to play as many games as I can for Hearts and I’m really looking forward to playing for Scotland again. It’s been nearly a year because of injuries and club commitments and I’ve missed it.
“Obviously the target when the Performance School system started was to produce players who could play for the senior team.
“I’m miles off that at the moment but it’s the ultimate ambition.
“You only have to look at Kieran Tierney, who has captained Scotland at his age. I think that’s amazing and he’s definitely set the benchmark.”
Despite having high hopes for his future, Cochrane insists he is never in danger of getting ahead of himself as he carries out his duties as a Hearts youth team player.
He added: “I have a long, long way to go and people like [SFA elite performance coach] Andy Goldie and [Hearts under-17s coach] Liam Fox are quick to make sure I keep my feet on the ground.
“They don’t have to worry about that. I’m still in the under-20 dressing room at Hearts and have my jobs to do around the training ground.
“I’ll help sweep the corridors, take the equipment out to the pitches and clean Liam’s and Arnaud Djoum’s boots. It’s all part of my learning curve.”
• Cochrane was speaking to the Scottish FA website as the governing body seeks new applicants for the Performance School programme.