Hearts man who helped to break Celtic unbeaten record to leave club on a free

By Euan Davidson

April 16, 2021

Celtic had managed 69 games unbeaten in domestic competition.

Then, of all teams, it was Hearts who stopped it being 70. In a shocking 4-0 win back in 2017, a Harry Cochrane-inspired Jambos side put a 585 day unbeaten streak to the sword. It was Brendan Rodgers’ first league loss in Scotland, and it was in large part down to a 16-year-old.

It was a sliding doors moment, of sorts. Celtic ended that season with yet another league win, while Cochrane, who had impressed in 17-18, has had diminishing returns from a very early rise to prominence. Currently, he’s on loan at Montrose, where he’s made 11 league appearances [Transfermarkt].

Now, his parent club, where he made his mark against Celtic, are readying themselves to let him go for nothing. In a statement from Hearts, director Joe Savage said [Hearts FC]:

“We offered Harry a new contract because the potential is there, it always has been, and we want to see young players become success stories at Hearts.

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“He’s decided go a different way and we respect that. Sometimes a fresh move is best for all concerned, that’s football, and nobody at the club has a bad word to say about Harry.

“From the club’s perspective we’ve done everything procedurally that you would expect in order to protect training compensation, and we plough ahead with developing existing talent and sourcing new players of all ages to come in and improve the team both short and long term.”

Brendan Rodgers had been unbeaten in the Scottish top-flight / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Celtic victory surely won’t be his defining moment

Cochrane was tipped for big things, and at 19, he still has fantastic potential. Born in Glasgow, the Hearts youngster clearly sees his future elsewhere.

Conversely to someone like Tony Watt, who impressed early for Celtic but flamed out, the man who helped stop Celtic reaching 70 games unbeaten won’t want to be defined by that game.

Oddly, talking of formerly promising youngsters, Cochrane once named Eboue Kouassi as his toughest opponent. After a half-hour cameo against the Bhoys in 2018, Cochrane was impressed by the Ivorian, now playing in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League.

At the time, Cochrane said [Scotsman]:

“So, my toughest game was against Eboue Kouassi. I only lasted 30 minutes in that game before I was sent to the hospital but I just couldn’t get near him that night. I don’t know why that was, I just couldn’t get near him and that was a big lesson. It shows you where you need to get to.

“When you play Celtic you need to show no fear. They are the best team in the league, they have won it, but you need to play with no fear.”

READ MORE: Talking of Hearts, ex-assistant claims Celtic striker could emulate John Robertson.