Gavin Reilly: Hearts forward joins Dunfermline Athletic on loan

Gavin Reilly in action for Hearts
Gavin Reilly joined Hearts after their promotion to the Premiership

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson hopes Gavin Reilly returns a better player after sending the striker on loan for a season with Dunfermline Athletic.

The 23-year-old returns to the Scottish Championship after a season with the Edinburgh club in the top flight after switching from Queen of the South.

"It's a chance for Gavin to play regularly and continue his development," said Neilson.

"Hopefully he'll come back an even better player."

Reilly, who signed a three-year contract last summer, made 32 appearances for Hearts on their return to Scotland's top flight, scoring four goals, but more than half of those were as a substitute.

His departure from Tynecastle came as Hearts signed Robbie Muirhead on a one-year contract after the 20-year-old's release by Dundee United.

Neilson told his club website that Reilly would be playing in "an extremely competitive environment".

"It's a good move for Gavin," he said. "Dunfermline are a big club and will still be on a high after winning League One."

Faissal El-Bakhtaoui applauds the Dunfermline Athletic fans
Faissal El-Bakhtaoui has rejected a new contract with Dunfermline Athletic

Dunfermline are likely to lose top scorer Faissal El-Bakhtaoui, the Moroccan 23-year-old being out of contract after rejecting a new deal at East End Park.

Pars manager Allan Johnston worked with Reilly when he was in charge of the Doonhamers and was delighted to be reunited with the striker.

"He's got pace and he's a finisher," he told Dunfermline's website.

"He played a lot of games under me and he's still got hunger and desire to do well. That's the type of player we're looking for.

"He's desperate to do well and I'm sure he'll be hungry to score more goals.

"He's proven at Championship level. I'm sure he'll be a big asset to us.

"It's a massive season for Dunfermline and for him."

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