Christophe Berra: Former Hearts defender joins Livingston staff as David Martindale moves quickly to fill Marvin Bartley void

Former Hearts and Scotland defender Christophe Berra has been appointed first-team coach at Livingston.

In a swift backroom reshuffle following the departure of Marvin Bartley, who departed as the Lions’ assistant boss earlier this week to become the new Queen of the South manager, Neil Hastings has also been promoted to assistant manager.

Berra, who will be 38 later this month, hung up his boots last summer to focus on coaching after a spending year as player-coach at Raith Rovers. He had two spells at Hearts as a player, also played for Ipswich Town and Wolves in England and won 41 Scotland caps. Hastings is in his second spell at Livingston, rejoining the club in January 2022 after a period in charge of Lowland League side Gala Fairydean Rovers.

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Livingston manager David Martindale said: “It was year ago that Neil joined the backroom staff at Livingston as a first-team coach and he has proved to be a huge asset for the team and resultantly, I felt it was important to reward him with the position of assistant manager. It's certainly a step up in terms of responsibility, but one that I have no doubt Neil will take in his stride.

Former Hearts and Scotland defender Christophe Berra is the new first-team coach at Livingston. Picture: Paul Devlin / SNSFormer Hearts and Scotland defender Christophe Berra is the new first-team coach at Livingston. Picture: Paul Devlin / SNS
Former Hearts and Scotland defender Christophe Berra is the new first-team coach at Livingston. Picture: Paul Devlin / SNS

“I’m also pleased to announce that Christophe Berra will come in and fill the first-team coaching role that Neil will leave behind by stepping up. Christophe was a highly respected footballer and I believe he will become a hugely important member of my backroom team. He brings a wealth of experience as a professional footballer at the top level having had a top career as a defender.“Christophe will bring a huge amount of that experience into the club giving what he’s done and where he’s been over that playing career, albeit, he is in the early stages of his coaching career. I'm looking forward to getting him on the training field and working alongside him.”

Berra is an A licence coach and said is aiming to begin his UEFA pro licence when the course is available. He said in October: “I want to be a manager but I know there’s a process and I’m willing to put the hours in and hopefully progress.”