John Doolan today admitted turning his back on Wigan Athletic to join lifelong pal Alan Stubbs at Hibs was the biggest decision of his career – but the right one.
Doolan was expected to have played a key role in Wigan’s drive for promotion to the English Premiership this season having been appointed first-team coach by Latics’ boss Uwe Rosler. But the former East German internationalist was stunned when the 45-year-old revealed he was quitting to take up a similar post at Easter Road, becoming head coach Stubbs’ first signing since his own arrival in Edinburgh.
Doolan was at Stubbs’ right hand as Hibs defeated Vale of Leithen 4-0 in their first pre-season friendly but officially took up his new post today, a challenge the ex-Wigan midfielder decided he simply couldn’t resist. He revealed: “When Alan said there was a position for me here I had to seriously think about it because of where I was. I’d enjoyed a good few years at Wigan as a player, as a coach working in youth development and for the last six or seven months with the first team with Uwe Rosler.
“To be fair it was a big decision, I was at an [English] Championship club which, I am sure, will push on to the Premiership under Uwe.
“But I thought Hibs would be a challenge. It’s a massive club, one with loads of history and one with great potential. I’ve seen some great players here since I arrived, I’ve been impressed with the talent here especially on the youth side although we do have good experienced players too.
“To be honest, it just felt right the minute I stepped through the door.
“Alan himself has great ambitions, he’s told me where he wants to take this club and I just thought there was an unbelievable feel to it, the vibes were right straight away.”
Stubbs described the signing of Doolan as “a massive coup,” predicting he’ll be a huge success at Easter Road while insisting his best mate won’t be a “yes man” but one willing to give him a piece of his mind when he feels the moment warrants it.
And Doolan himself was adamant that will be the case, saying: “It’s definitely not going to be an old pals’ act, I’ll tell him and he’ll tell me because we want things right on and off the pitch.”