Former Hearts striker Calum Elliot has revealed he quit his post as Edinburgh United manager in order to further his own coaching career.
The young boss took up his first job in management last August with the Paties Road club, just a month after retiring from the game due to a troublesome knee injury.
Elliot informed Edinburgh’s committee of his intention to resign after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat in Rosyth which left them in sixth and 16 points off a promotion place in the South Division.
“It just got to the stage where it was best for both parties. I think, in the league especially, I was realistic enough to realise that the club wasn’t going to go up this season,” said Elliot.
“I had it in my mind for about it or seven weeks and it came to the fore that it was probably the right time for the club to bring somebody in and for myself to plan and look for opportunities that might come up.
“For me to progress as a coach and a manager, I felt as if the time was right to move on and to test myself – without being disrespectful – at a higher level.
“It gives somebody six months to try and get their own players in and they’ve also got a good draw in the Junior Cup which the boys have worked extremely hard in.”
The 29-year-old describes his 16 months with Edinburgh’s only Junior club as the best of his footballing career. Last season’s relegation from the Premier League and his disappointment at their league form this season hasn’t diminished his appetite to coach at the highest level.
Working with a young squad whose average age was 19, Elliot chose to go down the route of giving youth a chance and regularly contained 16 and 17-year-olds in his line-ups.
Elliot, who plans to sit his A-Licence in the summer, continued: “We did have a young squad, but I expected us to be higher up in the league than what we are. You are in a position for a reason because you’ve not been consistent enough and that probably comes down to the youthful nature of the squad that we wanted to go with at the start of the season.
“It’s been the most enjoyable time of my footballing career, but it got to the stage where the enjoyment got taken out of it for various reasons and I just felt it was the right thing to do.
“I’ve got to be selfish from my point of view and look out for my best interests. In fairness to Edinburgh, they have been great for me, they’ve given me an opportunity and got me back into football, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. It’s been a great learning experience for me.
“But, for me to grow and progress I have to look at other opportunities that might come up. I can’t expect anything to just come about straight away, it’s going to take time. I’ve got to be patient and take the right project when it comes along. I’ll go away and watch games and be ready for when the opportunity comes up.”
Assistant manager Conan McDiarmid will be in caretaker charge for Saturday’s match at home to Pumpherston. Edinburgh have invited interested applicants for the vacant post to contact firstname.lastname@example.org