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Hearts FC boss has high hopes for the season - and in Hollywood

·4-min read

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson reckons his side are well ahead of schedule following their impressive start to the new Scottish Premier League season – and now they’ve even made it to Hollywood.

The newly promoted side have won five and drawn four from their opening nine games of Scottish Premier action, leaving them as the only unbeaten team left in the league.

On the opening day of the new campaign in July, they claimed a memorable last gasp win over Celtic, courtesy of an 89th minute header from defender John Souttar.

And following their stellar start, the 41-year-old, who made over 200 appearances for the Jam Tarts, reckons the sky’s the limit for his squad.

“It’s been a great season so far,” explained Neilson, speaking to promote Succession Season 3, which is available to stream on NOW from 18th October with a new episode being released each week.

“We won promotion last year but usually when you come up, you never know where you’re going to be.

“The aim for the club when we came up was to aim for top six but where we are now means we’re well ahead of schedule.

“I’m not necessarily one for setting targets for where we want to be. For me, when you play for Hearts, the objective is to win every single week which we’ve managed to do for most of this season.

“Our aim is just to be at the top end of the league, and if we can do that with the squad we’ve got, I think we’ll be in a good position.”

Hollywood has hit the streets of Edinburgh, with Nielson’s Hearts playing the most unlikely of starring roles.

To celebrate the return of season 3 of hit-show Succession, streaming service NOW is bringing a slice of the Roy family’s dysfunctionality to the UK, with a Succession-inspired football ‘takeover’ in Edinburgh.

In season two of the hit show, Roman Roy (played by Kieran Culkin) buys the Scottish football club Hearts to impress his father Logan (Brian Cox), only to awkwardly discover that his billionaire dad is a fan of Edinburgh-rivals Hibernian.

A fan of Succession; Neilson was thrilled when fiction became reality last week, with HBO and streaming service NOW reaching out to Hearts to see if they could collaborate.

NOW and Hearts were celebrating Roman Roy’s fictional takeover of the team, with the name of the family’s infamous company Waystar Royco added to the front of Hearts’ iconic maroon home shirts as well as on branding within the club’s Tynecastle stadium.

The limited-edition Succession-inspired shirts were unveiled at Tynecastle by Neilson and players John Souttar, Ben Woodburn, Stephen Kingsley, and Beni Baningime.

“I watched the first series and was hooked. We saw the Hearts Storyline in Succession but then a few weeks ago, Cat [Catriona McCallum, Marketing and Communications Director] asked me about them coming down to Tynecastle,” explained Neilson.

“Obviously I knew the show but we didn’t know what it would entail. HBO and now have made a big donation to MND Scotland, our shirt sponsor, so it works both ways.

“It’s good for HBO, good for NOW and amazing for the charity.

“Although, I’m not sure if a Hibs fan buying Hearts in real life would go down too well in both camps here!”

Manager Robbie Neilson unveils the Waystar Royco sponsored shirt at Tynecastle stadium
Manager Robbie Neilson unveils the Waystar Royco sponsored shirt at Tynecastle stadium

The partnership with Hearts stands out as a world-first – the first-time ever that the front of a major professional football shirt has been sponsored by a fictional company.

In keeping with the Roy family’s love of all things exclusive, only 100 of the Waystar-branded shirts have been created meaning the only way to join the exclusive ownership club is by entering a special giveaway on NOW’s Instagram page.

Jamie Schwartz, Director of Brand, Marketing and Merchandising at NOW said: “We want as many people as possible to enjoy amazing, critically-acclaimed shows like the Succession on NOW and this partnership with Hearts F.C. is a great way of celebrating the show in a way that fans will love and that also raises awareness of this must-watch content among a completely new audience.”

Chief Executive of Hearts Andrew McKinley commented: “As huge fans of the show, we’re really excited to be working with NOW to bring this Succession takeover to Tynecastle. We love watching the Hearts-related storylines in the show, although we’re quite thankful not to have any members of the Roy family running the club in real life.”

Succession Season 3 is available to stream on NOW from 18th October with a new episode being released each week. You can watch the new season and catch up on Seasons 1 and 2 of Succession on the NOW Entertainment Membership and for your chance to win one of these highly sought-after Hearts shirts, keep your eyes peeled to NOW’s Instagram page today.

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