Conor Sammon knew he had to leave Hearts after summer striker signings

Partick Thistle striker Conor Sammon
Striker Conor Sammon joined Partick Thistle on loan in search of regular first-team football

Partick Thistle signing Conor Sammon says he knew his time at Hearts was over despite the departure of head coach Ian Cathro.

Sammon spent the second half of last season on loan at Kilmarnock and has now made a season-long move to Firhill.

He was certain that he had to leave Tynecastle after the summer arrival of strikers Kyle Lafferty and Cole Stockton.

"The club made their signings and I knew where I stood," Sammon said.

"I didn't want to be a bit-part player or coming on for 10-15 minutes. I want to be training hard through the week knowing that come Saturday I have a real chance of playing.

"The manager changing didn't change my mind in any way.

"When I went back pre-season, I knew my future lay away from Hearts. I spoke to a few managers, there were a few options, and I was delighted to get this move finalised."

Sammon signed a three-year contract when he joined Hearts in the summer of 2016, but he has made only 27 appearances for the club, scoring twice.

In his five-month loan spell last season at one of his former clubs, Kilmarnock, he hit five goals in 15 games, and the 30-year-old is eager to continue playing first-team football rather than be on the margins at Hearts.

Hearts striker Conor Sammon on loan at Kilmarnock
Conor Sammon scored five goals in 15 games on loan at Kilmarnock last season

He was joined at Partick Thistle by fellow forward Miles Storey, who left Aberdeen for an undisclosed fee to sign a two-year deal at Firhill.

"I'm at an age where I need to be playing, I want to be playing," Sammon said.

"I don't want to look back on my career and think I wasted two or three years by sitting around and not playing.

"It's a great opportunity now and it's up to me to make the most of it.

"I'm delighted and what a great way to get stuck into life as a Partick Thistle player by playing against Celtic.

"The result didn't go our way but on a personal note it was nice to get 90 minutes and get on the pitch with the new team-mates."

Partick Thistle striker Miles Storey
Patrick Thistle signed Miles Storey from Aberdeen on the same day that Conor Sammon joined on loan from Hearts

Sammon had other loan options to consider, but was drawn to Partick Thistle by the progress the team has made under manager Alan Archibald, who led them to a top-six finish last season.

"I played against them a few times last season and they play some really good football," the striker said.

"They have some really talented players and I feel I can benefit from playing alongside these lads, and that can help get the best out of me.

"I know my strength is running in behind defences, using my pace. I see lots of talented midfielders here who technically are very good and who can see a pass and make a pass."

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