Hearts boss welcomes new head of recruitment and arrival from Rangers

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Hearts manager Robbie Neilson insists age is no barrier after welcoming William Lancefield as the club’s new head of recruitment.

The 28-year-old leaves his role as Southampton’s regional lead scout to join Hearts but will be based south of the border.

Lancefield has also held scout and analyst roles at Norwich City, where he worked alongside Hearts sporting director Joe Savage, and Tottenham.

Hearts head of recruitment William Lancefield |  Hearts news
Lancefield worked with Hearts sporting director Joe Savage at Norwich City

He essentially takes over from John Murray after the club’s long-term chief scout recently retired.

Hearts also recruited George Brown as a lead recruitment analyst from Rangers at the end of last season 

Neilson, whose side host Cove Rangers in tonight’s Premier Sports Cup clash, said: “Nowadays, a lot of younger ones are coming into football on that side of it – recruitment, analysis. 

“It’s becoming a bit more data-led. 

“We brought in George Brown from Rangers as a data analyst on the recruitment side of it. It’s such a big part of the game now. 

“Gone are the days when you watch a guy a couple of times and make a decision. We’re pleased to get the two of them on board.

“I met William last week and it was great to get to know him a wee bit. 

“Joe knows him more than me because he had him at Norwich, then he went down to Southampton. 

“He has good experience of England and he will be based down there. 

“He will go to games, speak to agents and players down there for us. 

“We can communicate back and forward about targets. It’s good to get him on board.”

Hearts, meanwhile, have announced that they will take on Sunderland in a friendly on Saturday.

The English League One side are managed by former Hearts midfielder Lee Johnson.

Neilson said: “This will be another good test for us ahead of our league opener against Celtic in a few weeks’ time.

“Sunderland are a big club down in England with some talented players so it’ll be a great run out for our squad.”