Calum Elliot: Why Tynecastle job ticks all the boxes
Former Hearts striker Calum Elliot has travelled around the world in an attempt to carve out a burgeoning coaching career, but now he wants to settle back home in Scotland.
Elliot spent time coaching in America and Canada in 2017 before settling in England with non-league club Mousehole AFC, in Cornwall, at the tail end of last year, initially as a player and full-time academy coach before progressing to the role of player and first-team manager earlier this year.
Now back in Edinburgh, he was appointed as East of Scotland Conference B club Tynecastle’s boss earlier this week. It is an opportunity the 31-year-old could not turn down as he bids to re-establish his managerial career in his hometown after leaving Edinburgh United in late 2016.
Tynecastle chairman Dougie Dalgleish has finally got his man, with Elliot confident he can make his time in charge a success. His new boss has revealed that he attempted to sign him five times when, as a youngster, he played with Salvesen.
“The big thing for myself is that there is an infrastructure and potential there to be as big as it can be,” said Elliot.
“It’s obviously been a disappointing start to the season, but I wouldn’t have taken the job if I didn’t think I could go in and get a reaction out of the players. Hopefully we can start to get the results, which, after seeing the boys in training on Tuesday night, I don’t think they should be in the position they are. They need to start rectifying the results and start to produce more fruitful performances.
“The facilities, the people involved and the ambition of everyone involved; everything about it ticked the right boxes for me. Ultimately I want the team to be successful so I can be successful, and for that you need to be surrounded by people which have got the same ambitions as yourself. It’s now the case of filling the team with individuals who have the same ambitions.
“I had visions after seeing some of their recent results that it might have been a more difficult job, but after seeing them in training I think it’s a case of really pushing them to be the best they can be. It’s a very young squad there, but there is a nucleus of a very good team with possibly the right additions to help that. It’s a good opportunity for me. The club has a good profile. I’ve got to get more out of the group than what they’ve given recently.”
Elliot had a spell as Edinburgh United manager and believes he has more to offer this time around compared to when he first left Scotland as he sought to establish himself overseas – and in sleepy Cornwall. “I wanted to continually progress, I wanted to go to a different environment and see whether it would work for me, and it did. I enjoyed working with boys who had been released and had ambitions to get back playing at a higher level. There were four or five who managed to get full-time contracts when I was down there, so it was certainly a fulfilling job which I did enjoy.
“If there were full-time jobs in football in Scotland then ideally that was where I wanted to go, but if you are ambitious and you want to try and manage coach at a higher level I think you have to be doing it as often as you can.
“Unfortunately there aren’t as many of the opportunities here, especially at the age I was. I realised I needed to travel and thankfully my partner wanted to be part of it as well. We’ve had some good experiences in different countries which were good for us, and certainly good for me in a professional sense.”
Tynecastle are without a fixture this weekend as the Football Nation Qualifying Cup takes centre stage, with second and third round ties scheduled. Penicuik Athletic host Broxburn Athletic in the pick of the fixtures, while Tranent host Bo’ness United and Kelty Hearts entertain Whitehill Welfare in an all-Lowland League clash.