Former Killie goal-getter to fire Hearts to next level

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Hearts to win 2016/17 title

After an impressive third-placed finish in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season, Hearts are hoping a new striker will help propel them even further up the standings.

In their first campaign after winning promotion from tier two, The Jam Tarts will have been delighted to settle back into top-flight life so quickly.

However, a bronze medal isn’t the end of their ambitions and, with European football on the agenda in 2016/17, additions to the squad and improvements on the pitch will be expected.

Manager Robbie Neilson made no secret of his desire to find a new front man during the summer and according to reports north of the border, may well have already found one.

Following his release from Derby County, Republic of Ireland international Conor Sammon is in talks with the Tynecastle club about a move back to the SPFL.

The 29-year-old secured the biggest move of his career, to then-Premier League outfit Wigan, after impressing for Kilmarnock in 2010/11 and looks to be heading back to the Ladbrokes Premiership some five years later.

Things may not have gone to plan for Sammon in England, playing for five clubs and scoring just 20 league goals, but his SPFL record suggests he will rediscover his form in front of goal should he sign for Hearts.

The Dublin native notched 15 times in 23 games in his final six months at Kilmarnock before moving to Roberto Martinez’s Latics that winter, a return which is easily the best haul of his career.

Replicating that production will be key if Hearts are to push on to become Celtic’s biggest challengers at 33/1 and realise Neilson’s ambitions of reaching the Europa League group stages.

Spanish striker Juanma was the club’s top scorer this season with 12 league goals. However, with both Celtic and Aberdeen, the two clubs that finished above Hearts, possessing 20-goal men, it’s clear where Hearts can make up ground.

As a nine-cap international, the club clearly believe Sammon is the man to help them do it.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.