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Fifteen for '15: Will Sean McKirdy be the next off Hearts' production line?

At just 16 the hard working midfielder is a regular in the Championship leaders' squad.

Sean McKirdy, Hearts, August 2014.
© SNS Group

He was a vital cog in the Scotland side that won the Victory Shield for the first time a generation.

Now Sean McKirdy has a chance to lead the next generation of talented academy graduates at Heart of Midlothian.

The midfielder was a key performer last year as the national schoolboy team swept to Victory Shield glory for the first time since 1998.

But after the product of the national performance school at Edinburgh's Broughton High School signed professional terms with Hearts, he has quickly notched up a first team debut as well as regular spots on the bench.

McKirdy is noted as a hard working performer but marries his tireless attitude with great technique and an eye for a pass.

After taking part in the team's pre-season his displays for the Under-20s earned him call-ups for Robbie Neilson's matchday squads.

McKirdy took his Hearts bow in the 4-1 Petrofac Training Cup defeat to Livingston in August, but greater things are expected of the teenager if he can progress as expected by the coaching team at Hearts' Riccarton base.

The vitals

Name: Sean McKirdy
Age: 16
Position: Midfielder
Previous clubs: Hutchison Vale BC
First team appearances: One (sub)
First team goals: None

What the manager says

Robbie Neilson: "Sean’s come in during the summer after playing in the Scotland schoolboys team who won the Victory Shield.

"He’s got a fantastic attitude – he works hard, he looks after himself and he’s the epitome of what we’re looking for from our academy.

"He’s very humble and listens all the time – he wants to do well and is very respectful of the older players.

"On top of that he has great ability and technique.

"He still needs to develop physically and once he has done that he’s got a chance to be a great player."

More on Sean McKirdy

You can follow Sean on on Twitter @seanmckirdy34

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