Hearts starlet Harry Stone aims to prove safe pair of hands for Ayr United

Harry Stone spends his time trying to dislodge TWO international goalkeepers in Gorgie - now the Hearts starlet wants to prove he's the next big name in waiting with Ayr United.

The 22-year-old has agreed a season-long loan at Somerset Park after Jambos boss Steven Naismith decided to entrust the Honest Men with the development of his highly rated shot stopper.

Hearts have high hopes that Stone could step into the long term breach vacated by Craig Gordon and challenge Zander Clark for the gloves at Tynecastle. And a season spent under the guidance of Scott Brown at Somerset is seen as key in Stone's development as he bids to continue his path towards the Jam Tarts first team.

The new Ayr keeper told the Ayrshire Post: "The big aim for me is playing for Hearts - but to do that I know I have to prove myself first. I've been out on a few loans and last season at Queen of the South was really good in terms of building my character. It was a challenging season and the team maybe didn't do as well as we'd hoped, but I felt I performed okay and it was a good season for my development.

"For me it was about games and it's similar in coming here. I know I have to work hard and this is a great opportunity. The club seems to be in a great place at the moment - there's a lot of investment going on off the park and the mood is that the club wants to progress, which is great."

Stone will make the move to live in Ayr and train with the club full time during his stint, insisting he sees the move as vital in terms of his development both on and off the park.

He added: "I've spoken to Timmo the goalkeeping coach and heard a lot of good things about him, so I'm excited to get working with him. I think it's important to come down and be with the squad all week and spend that time with them. Being at Hearts is a funny one...I'm obviously keen for first team games but I can't really have any complaints. I've got Craig Gordon and Zander Clark ahead of me - both of whom are away with Scotland at the moment - so I know I just have to be patient.

"The long term plan is to keep working hard and wait for my chance. At the rate Craig keeps going he'll probably play for another five years! But he's been a major influence in my career and has been a huge help in terms of guiding me...he's an amazing professional.

"When the manager here picked up the phone it was obviously an exciting one. I grew up watching him and his reputation in the game speaks for itself - so getting the chance to work with someone like him is exciting. I know this is a big year for me and the challenge is to translate all of the off the park excitement to results on it - I can't wait to get going."