Hearts begin the search for a new Riccarton figurehead due to managerial restructure

The Edinburgh club are recruiting in a key position.
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Hearts have begun the search for a new youth academy director to replace Frankie McAvoy, the Evening News can reveal. McAvoy was appointed in the role in February 2022 but is now a full-time member of the first-team coaching staff following a managerial restructure at the Edinburgh club.

That means a new figurehead is needed to run the Riccarton youth system and Hearts have already commenced the recruitment process. They need someone with the required youth coaching licences but who is also experienced and adept when it comes to age-group scouting.

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Sporting director Joe Savage, who was influential in McAvoy’s appointment at the academy, is tasked with sourcing a replacement for the 55-year-old. The process will not be rushed with the club looking at a number of potential candidates.

McAvoy took the title of Hearts head coach on Wednesday when the club confirmed their first-team management structure for season 2023/24. Steven Naismith will lead the team as the defacto manager with McAvoy effectively operating as his assistant and Gordon Forrest first-team coach – the same set-up as the last seven games of 2022/23.

Naismith was given the title of technical director because he does not hold a UEFA Pro Licence, whilst McAvoy does. The arrangement helps Hearts meet UEFA criteria for European competitions in which any head coach must hold a Pro Licence.

The Tynecastle side will compete in the third qualifying round of the Europa Conference League come August and have taken steps to ensure McAvoy can fulfil all the necessary requirements for that tournament.