Hearts: Paul Gallacher arrives as goalkeeper-coach after Partick Thistle exit

Paul Gallacher
Paul Gallacher made one appearance for Partick Thistle in the last campaign

Goalkeeper Paul Gallacher has joined Hearts as a player-coach, but the Tynecastle club are continuing their search for another shot-stopper.

The 36-year-old, who rejected a new contract with Partick Thistle, has signed a two-year deal.

He takes over coaching duties from Neil Alexander, who has joined Aberdeen.

Head coach Robbie Neilson said: "He'll primarily be a coach, but he'll be registered as a player too and I know he'll be ready if called upon."

Alexander, two years older than Gallacher, had been Hearts' first choice last season but was released this summer.

Jack Hamilton was given his chance at the end of the season, but Neilson is likely to look for another goalkeeper to challenge the 22-year-old.

Gallacher, who joined Thistle from Ross County in 2013 but only made one appearance for Hearts' Scottish Premiership rivals last season, will also challenge for a place.

Faycal Rherras in training with Hearts
New signing Faycal Rherras is already in training with Hearts

"He's a vastly experienced goalkeeper and is a good goalkeeper coach too, having spent time in that role at Partick Thistle," said Neilson of the former Norwich City, Dunfermline Athletic and St Mirren man on Hearts' website.

"I'm sure Jack and the other goalkeepers at the club will benefit greatly from Paul's knowledge."

Meanwhile, defender Faycal Rherras has admitted that he has joined Hearts in the hope it is a stepping stone to English football.

The Belgian-born Moroccan 23-year-old signed a three-year contract this week after leaving Sint-Truiden.

"My dream is to play in England and I know that in Scotland the league is similar in physicality and the style of football that is played in England," he said.

"This move is a chance for me to do well and adapt to those characteristics."

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