Jamie Walker opens up on Hearts future hopes as he reveals Tynecastle frustration

Jamie Walker insists he would be up for extending his Hearts stay beyond the end of the season as he opened up on his frustration at his limited chances this season.

The 28-year-old boyhood Jambo is currently on loan at Bradford City and his Tynecastle contract expires at the end of the current campaign.

However, Walker would be keen to discuss a new deal with the player keen to remain in the capital for both family and football reasons.

Walker moved to Valley Parade on loan in January after falling out of favor at Tynecastle under current manager Robbie Neilson.

Fellow Premiership clubs St Johnstone and Livingston were interested in taking Walker on loan.

But the winger admits playing for the Bantams – where Mark Hughes has recently taken charge – has a lot of similarities to Hearts and that he’s enjoying playing regular football again after earning another crack at English football.

Walker scored the winning goal shortly before he left in the winter window and admitted it was tough not getting the run in the team that he craved.

He said: “It was tough to leave Hearts as that’s the club I’ve grown up supporting.

“Robbie Neilson made it publicly clear that the decision was down to me. I’m getting a bit older now and I just want to play football.

“We came to a decision that I was going to move on loan. I didn’t play at all during the early part of the season but as the January window approached, I scored against Dundee and played against Ross County and that did make the decision harder.

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“I feel like across the starting 11, it was the wider areas and the number tens who were more inconsistent.

“The team started the season well and I found my game time very limited but I think I deserved a lot more opportunities than I got.

“Even in the Championship last season, every time I came on to the pitch I contributed with a goal or an assist.

“People got a lot of opportunities which I didn’t and when I did get mine, I took them. That contributed to my decision to move away and try to play some football.

“The reasons for that is a question you would have to ask the gaffer. I respect his decision and we came to a decision that I was going to move.

“Hearts is my club and I’ve scored a lot of goals there and played a lot of games. Me and my family support the club so it wasn’t easy but I want to play regular football.

“I’ve got a great relationship with Robbie and over the course of my two spells at Hearts career it’s the best I’ve played.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I think he likes me as a player. I’ve done well for him before and he wished me well when I left in January.

“I’m still under contract with Hearts at the moment but my contract is up at the end of the season.

“Over my two spells, I’ve played a lot of games, scored a lot of goals and been there a long time so I’d never say never.

“If Hearts wanted to offer me a new one-year deal then it’s something I’d be happy to talk with them about but at the moment I’m trying to play my best here at Bradford and put myself in the shop window as you never know where you will end up next.”

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Walker admitted Bradford appealed, despite being in England’s fourth tier, saying: “It was the size of the club that attracted me to Bradford.

“If it was a smaller club in League Two then I would’ve probably accepted an offer closer to home that was on the table.

“I knew Bradford were a big club but I didn’t actually realize how big they’re. They are similar to Hearts in terms of big clubs, big fanbases and big expectations.

“I wanted to have another crack at playing in England as I didn’t play as much the first time around.

“My family and kids are back in Edinburgh and sometimes it’s things like this that fans don’t realize.

“If I was to move then my kids need to move school, I need to move house. Hearts and Edinburgh are my home and if they’d like to talk about a new contract then I would be happy to do that.

“But at the moment, I’m just concentrating on playing football and enjoying it and hopefully come the summer I’ve got a few options.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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