A REASSURING aspect of the new main stand at Tynecastle is that the press box more or less stayed in the same position as it was before.

I believe I’m correct in saying the media section is the closest to the pitch in all of Scotland, only a few rows separate us from the technical areas or dug-outs in old money, and while I wouldn’t want to watch my football so low down every week, the proximity to the action can offer the spectator a deeper understanding of what is going on.

Towards the end of last season, I was despatched to a couple of Hearts games and the one thing which struck me was how involved Steven Naismith was.

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He never stopped talking, barking orders, letting players know when they had done well, and badly, while making a big contribution of his own.

Naismith is smarter than most and so it was a real ear-opener to hear him talk in such an instructive tone to team-mates, particularly the younger ones, through a derby which Hearts won and he scored the decisive goal, in the last week of the campaign.

At 31, the former Rangers man has plenty of gas left in the tank and when you consider what else he brings to what will be a very new team, the news of him agreeing another season-long loan down Gorgie way would have pleased, I’m sure, everyone of a Jambo persuasion.

That would bring the number of summer signings to eleven with Ali Crawford, a fine midfielder himself, still on trial. If he can prove his fitness then Hearts will be adding an excellent Premiership performer for nothing.

Craig Levein has also signed, deep breath, Zdenek Zlamal, Peter Haring, Ben Garuccio, Bobby Burns, Oliver Bozanic, Ryan Edwards, Olly Lee, Jake Mulraney, Steven MacLean and Uche Ikpeazu.

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If I said I knew all there was to know about this ten, the cow-poo would be detectable from a 1000 miles. However, Lee is good, I’ve seen him play, Edwards could be a real gem while Mulraney is seriously raw but also might well be the fastest footballer I have ever seen.

So, there is plenty of Levein to work with and more than a lot for the Hearts fans to get worked up about.

And I have a sneaky feeling this season will see Hearts at least challenge at the top and certainly in the cups. This is a good thing.

Some would have you believe our game has been in hibernation while waiting for Rangers to get good again. What a lot of nonsense. To an extent.

Celtic will win the league. I have not doubts about that. But they will probably find that Rangers are better, Hibs and Aberdeen won’t have gone away, Kilmarnock and Motherwell will have a say, and also Gorgie’s finest.

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We need all our big teams to at least be showing potential and with new blood, coupled with old heads and some kids including the outstanding Harry Cochrane, Hearts are going to be a fascinating watch.

Levein is not everyone’s cup of tea but I have always liked him and feel his reputation of being a negative coach is harsh; despite that awful night in Prague which we never talk about.

He is more pragmatist than a Pep, however, his Dundee United were great to watch and towards the end of the last campaign, Hearts played some good stuff at times. The 4-0 defeat of Celtic was arguably the performance of the Premiership.

Hearts went through a lot last season. The debacle of the stadium – forgetting to order seats for a new main stand was SO Scottish football – and Ian Cathro being sacked didn’t do much for consistency.

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Also, while Cochrane was tremendous, Anthony McDonald who is also 17 is worthy of a mention, this was theirs and a few others first taste of the senior team and understandably were naive. They’ll get better.

And I like the idea of Levein getting his troops to run up and down the sand-dunes at Gullane. I have done that once. Never again.

Plus, and this could be vital, the club have spent over £1m on a brand new pitch, which was badly needed. It might just be all coming together for the old Jam Tarts.

Levein has never won a trophy in his entire career would you believe. I have a suspicion that might change with this Hearts team.