Hearts have brought their former youth mastermind Darren Murray back to Riccarton as head of coach education. Murray is to mentor coaches within the club’s academy in a key development role.
A pivotal figure in the emergence of players like Callum Paterson, Sam Nicholson, Jason Holt and Jamie Walker before the onset of administration, Murray left Hearts four years ago for Coventry City.
He has spent the last two years as head coach of Box Soccer, the youth coaching programme used by Hearts teams at younger age levels. He will combine that role with his new one at Riccarton.
Now 47, Murray is back at Hearts with the responsibility of improving coaches within their academy system. He will report to director of football/manager Craig Levein and academy manager Roger Arnott.
Murray explained to the Evening News why he is delighted to return to the club he has supported all his life. “The values of Hearts are something I hold dear,” he said. “I was here under pretty tough times but now, with Ann Budge’s stewardship, the club is moving in the right direction.
“There’s going to be a new stand at Tynecastle but, in the coming years, we’ve got to make sure that first team is littered with players which have come through the system.
“That’s the challenge for every youth coach at the football club. It’s a real challenge but it’s something I’m really looking forward to and I can’t wait to get started. It’s good to be back.”
Murray holds a UEFA Pro Licence and mentors Box Soccer coaches. Hearts believe he can now perform the same role for them as they invest further in their own academy.