Alan Combe is set to remain as Hibs goalkeeping coach despite Kilmarnock manager Gary Locke having been keen to take him to Rugby Park as his assistant.
The pair are close friends after working together previously at both Killie and Hearts, and Locke had hoped to renew their alliance in Ayrshire.
However, although an assistant manager’s role would be viewed as a promotion for the 41-year-old, Combe is happy at Hibs and viewed as an integral member of Alan Stubbs’ backroom team.
The former St Mirren, Bradford City and Kilmarnock keeper finally got the chance to join the club he supported as a boy when he was recruited by Hibs as goalkeeping coach last July, just weeks after being freed from a similar role at city rivals Hearts.
Working closely with first-choice keeper Mark Oxley and his understudies, Tomas Cerny and Kleton Perntreou, last season, Combe enjoyed his work and made a big impression on head coach Stubbs. As well as coaching the keepers, he helps out with the development squad on matchdays – a role he also performed at Hearts – and played a part in facilitating the team’s warm-weather training trip to the Spanish resort of La Manga last month. The Evening News understands Locke has resigned himself to the fact his colleague will not be joining him in Ayrshire.
The Hibs squad return for pre-season tomorrow, but, barring any last-minute signings, Combe will have no first-team goalkeepers to work with as Stubbs is still looking to fill the void left by the aforementioned trio whose contracts all expired at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, teenage quintet Ben Stirling, Kevin Waugh, Oliver Shaw, Alasdair Smith and Adam Watson have been promoted from Hibs’ under-17 squad to the development (under-20) team. Jack Breen, Callum Donaldson and Fraser Murray have all signed professional contracts, but will remain with the under-17 side before progressing to the under-20s next year.