Graeme Mathie’s vision is a global one for Hibs

Sporting director wants to partner with top Euro clubs

By David Hardie
Sunday, 27th October 2019, 5:00 am
Graham Mathie has been head of player recruitment since 2014
Graham Mathie has been head of player recruitment since 2014

Hibs’ newly appointed sporting director Graeme Mathie has plans to make the Easter Road outfit “more global”, revealing he hopes to secure partnerships with clubs all over Europe. Already, he disclosed, talks are underway with what he described as two “really big” clubs as Hibs look to enjoy

success on a more consistent level.

Mathie will take up his newly created post on January 1 following George Craig’s decision to step down as head of football operations at the end of the year, looking to build on the progress and achievements since Hibs were relegated five years ago.

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As head of player identification and recruitment since the summer of 2014, Mathie has played a key role as the club ended its 114 year wait to win the Scottish Cup, won the Championship and qualified for Europe.

And now he is intent on building on the foundations which have been put in place to focus on creating a consistently successful new era at the Edinburgh club.

Mathie, who worked with the SFA and Celtic following a playing career with Coventry, Bournemouth, Motherwell, Ayr United, East Fife and Albion Rovers before arriving in Edinburgh, said: “This is a role that I am hugely excited about and I understand and relish the responsibility to help deliver success for this great club.”

Recalling the high of that historic Scottish Cup win over Rangers in 2016, Mathie acknowledged he is now tasked with seeking to bring more such days to the club,

He said: “There is no evidence to suggest that the club has competed at a level consistently.

“I think there’s only been four or five back-to-back top four finishes in the last 45 or 50 years, we have to consider how to change that.

“The club has had periods of success in its history, periods when it has brought through young players, periods when it has traded players to generate an income. But we want to do that more consistently.”

Outlining his vision of how he sees Hibs moving forward, he said: “I think there’s ultimately a challenge to make the club more global, to try to

create a narrative in what

we want the club to be going forward into this new period.

“That will have an impact potentially on some of the markets we look at for recruiting players. It will definitely involve how we actually look at learning and developing the people we have here, the thought processes in the way we think.

“Part of it will definitely be tying up some partnerships with a number of different clubs all over Europe. There are two in particular that we are speaking to at the moment, really big European clubs that we can learn a lot from in terms of how they do things, the way they coach, the way they work.”

Mathie also revealed Hibs are looking at similar tie-ups with smaller clubs abroad which could help provide youngsters at the city club’s academy to experience football and the cultures of different countries.

And he admitted his task will also be juggling those long-term aims with the present, telling Hibs TV: “In football we can get an appraisal three times a week and we accept that. It will be my job to provide some calm amid the emotions. Everyone here feels disappointment with results and performances as much as supporters. My role is to ask good questions, leading questions, that help us get to the bottom of how things have not worked on a given day.

“But also to long-term plans for the club to make sure success is sustained.”