He may be old enough to be his dad, but that’s not the only reason why Hearts captain Christophe Berra is loving his mentoring role with Aaron Hickey.
The youngster has burst onto the scene over the last few months, establishing himself as a Hearts regular at the age of 17. That has lead to numerous links with moves to big clubs north and south of the border.
Like all young stars, Hickey needs some guidance, and Berra is hoping he can be the man to provide that for his teenage teammate.
Berra told the Daily Record (The Winner, page 6, 28/10/19): “I’m trying to be a mentor for him. I always speak to him about things he can add to his game to make him even better. He’s only started 10 league games for Hearts and he’s done magnificently well.
“But we don’t want to build him up too much. We’ve got to let him develop so he learns from his mistakes. He’s got a lot of attributes and if he keeps his head down and feet on the ground he’s got an unbelievable future.
“I think he’ll stay grounded because he’s a quiet lad. If you’re 17, playing in the top league in your country and doing well, of course teams will be sniffing about. He’s got to embrace that but it’s not easy.”
Berra is a good role-model for Hearts youngster Hickey
In terms of experienced players, there aren’t many better to look up to at Hearts for Hickey than leader Berra. He has seen most things in the professional game.
He is a Jambos leader and a Scotland international, having made 39 appearances for his country. Berra has also featured 204 times in Gorgie, so he knows the club better than most.
Down south Berra also made an impact, making 339 appearances across spells with Ipswich Town and Wolves. Once Hickey does make his inevitable big move, Berra will be a great person to go to for guidance.
For now though, the Jambos skipper will look to guide Hickey in the right direction as the youngster continues to develop.