Former Hibs midfielder set for interim management spell as long-serving boss quits after 11 years

A former Hibs midfielder is set for an interim management spell after Scotland’s long-serving boss resigned after 11 years in post.

Davie Nicholls, who began his senior career with Hibs and made six appearances during the 1991/92 season before leaving to join Coleraine in Northern Ireland, will take temporary charge of Peterhead after Jim McInally stepped down after 11 years in post.

The Aberdeenshire club are currently bottom of cinch League One with just one win from their opening 15 fixtures and although they are just one point behind second-bottom Clyde, eighth-placed Kelty are ten points clear of the automatic relegation spot.

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Nicholls was McInally’s right-hand man at East Stirlingshire after finishing his playing career with the Shire after notable spells with Clydebank, Falkirk, Dunfermline, and Gretna, and followed him to Balmoor in 2011. He will lead the team until a permanent successor is found.

Davie Nicholls, right, has taken interim charge of Peterhead following the departure of Jim McInally after 11 years in post

Peterhead chairman Rodger Morrison told the club’s website: “Jim has been a hugely successful manager for the past decade winning two league titles, reaching a memorable Cup Final against Rangers, and taking many Premier League scalps along the way. Aside from his success on the pitch, I know Jim as a loyal and principled friend to this club who has made many personal and financial sacrifices for the good of Peterhead, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

"There were concessions made by Jim during that time to help ensure that financial stability would continue, and these were not made as a football manager but as someone who cares deeply about Peterhead Football Club and my gratitude for that runs deep. These are big shoes to fill but we will endeavour to find the right person for the job and as such the due diligence process of appointing a new manager will now begin.”

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McInally’s departure means Arbroath boss Dick Campbell is now the SPFL’s longest-serving manager, having led the Red Lichties since March 2016. Stewart Petrie of Montrose is the second longest-serving boss and is approaching six years in charge at Links Park while Annan Athletic’s Peter Murphy (five and a half years), Gavin Price of Elgin City (just over five years), and Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn (just over four years) complete the top five.