Hibs announce shock departure of key man as he takes up management role overseas

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Hibs academy director Steve Kean has left the club to take up a management role with Georgian side Torpedo Kutaisi.

The 55-year-old has been in post for the last 18 months and has helped revamp the club’s youth set-up, with a greater focus on taking youngsters onto the first team. He masterminded the reintroduction of a development squad to help bridge the gap between youth and senior football with six academy graduates – Murray Aiken, Jacob Blaney, Kevin Dąbrowski, Robbie Hamilton, Oscar MacIntyre, and Josh O'Connor – going onto make their first-team debut.

Kean also led Hibs to the CAS Elite Under-18 League title and subsequent progression to the play-off round of the UEFA Youth League, and the SPFL Reserve League crown earlier this season.

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The former Blackburn Rovers boss said: “First of all, this has been a really tough decision for me. I have absolutely loved my time with Hibs and the last 18 months. We have achieved a lot of different milestones within the academy during that time which the club can be proud of. From competing in Europe, winning domestic silverware and watching the lads receive first-team appearances and international call-ups has all been brilliant.

A general view of the Hibs badgeA general view of the Hibs badge
A general view of the Hibs badge

“It has been great to help the likes of Darren McGregor, and other aspiring coaches at the club, with their coaches badges too and I will miss being around the club every day. However, sometimes these opportunities come your way and you have to take them when they arise. I look forward to following the progress of the academy in years to come and wish Hibs the best of luck for the future.”

Hibs chief executive Ben Kensell added: “As a club, we would like to sincerely thank Steve Kean for the enormous impact he’s had on Hibs and the development of the club’s academy. Through his strategic decisions, we have been able to increase the standard of academy coaching, provide specific player development plans and bridge the gap towards the first team. Whilst we’re very sorry and disappointed to be losing him, we understand his will to manage first team football again. We wish him all the best at Torpedo Kutaisi and for the future.”

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