Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke hoping to convince Hearts legend Rudi Skacel to sign on at Stark’s Park



Raith Rovers manager Gary Locke admits he is hoping to sign Rudi Skacel after the Hearts legend jetted back into Scotland on Friday for talks with the Fife outfit.

The 36-year-old is expected to agree a deal with the Championship side after being out of football since January when he departed Mlada Boleslav in his native Czech Republic.

Locke was part of the coaching staff under both Jim Jefferies and Paulo Sergio during the attacking midfielder’s second spell at Tynecastle.

rudiskacelThe Czech cap, who has also turned out for Dundee United, is a firm fans favourite in Gorgie after winning the Scottish Cup with the club in 2006 and 2012.

Skacel was to expected to join the squad for last night’s Betfred Cup clash against Cove Rangers at Forfar’s Station Park and will train with Rovers next week while talks continue over a contract.

Locke, who has been in discussions with Skacel for several weeks, said: “Rudi is a fantastic professional. He is very fit naturally, and once he gains his sharpness, I hope we can persuade him to sign for the club because he will be a first class role model for the whole squad, that’s for sure.

“I am delighted he has agreed to link up with us, and I am certain his presence will create a real buzz as the season gets underway.

“He knows how to score goals, and to create chances for others so he could be a key player for us in the months ahead.”

Skacel first joined Hearts in summer 2005 on loan from Marseille and scored 17 goals as the Gorgie club finished second in the top-flight that season.

He linked up with former Hearts boss George Burley at Southampton in July 2006 and was farmed out out to Hertha Berlin in 2008.

Following spells at Slavia Prague and Larissa, Skacel rejoined Hearts in September 2010 and scored twice as the Tynecastle side beat city rivals Hibs 5-1 in the Scottish Cup final two years later.

He joined Dundee United in October 2012 before returning to Slavia Prague in March 2013.