JAKE MULRANEY insists it was a straightforward decision to leave Inverness for Hearts – but admits Jambos legend John Robertson’s glowing recommendation made it even easier.
The former QPR winger penned a two-year deal with the Tynecastle outfit last month after impressing during a stint training with the club in December.
With head coach Craig Levein tabling an offer that involved Angus Beith heading to the Highlands, the Republic of Ireland under-21 cap is now relishing the prospect of a return to the Scottish top-flight.
And the 22-year-old has confessed he did not have far to look for advice on the switch, with Caley Thistle manager Robertson and team-mate Brad McKay, the former Hearts defender, on hand to heap praise on the Gorgie club.
He said: “It was an easy decision to make to come to Hearts, knowing how big the club is and knowing people who were here previously, who spoke really well about the club.
“John Robertson pulled me in when there was interest and he just explained to me about the club, the fans, the facilities, the gaffer, everything.
“He just basically ‘bigged up’ the club and it made the decision even easier.
“I spoke to Brad Mackay about the area as well, as his ma lives only five minutes from me. He had good things to say as well.”
Mulraney played 32 times for Inverness two seasons ago in the Premiership and is eager to return to the top-flight after spending last term in the Championship.
And he is hopeful a gruelling pre-season, so far, can lay the foundations for a successful campaign with the Jambos.
He added to Hearts TV: “It’s been a tough few days but I’m loving it. The city is lovely, where I’m living is lovely, the boys are sound and the facilities are unreal, so I’m delighted.
“Pre-season has been tough, it’s been very tough! I don’t think I’ve had a pre-season like this, to be honest with you.
“My legs have gone, it’s mad.
“It’s definitely important to get the fitness levels up ahead of the season.
“But hopefully there’s just two or three more days of tough running and then hopefully we’ll get the balls out permanently.
“I was in and out in my first year in the Premier with Inverness but I hope my experience helps me hit the ground running. Hopefully I can kick on a bit more this season.”