Austin MacPhee has today been appointed Hearts’ new Assistant Head Coach. Here’s some background information on the man who will join forces with Ian Cathro to form Hearts’ new management team.
The 37-year-old arrives at Tynecastle having spent the past two-and-a-half years as Assistant Coach of Northern Ireland. Working closely alongside manager Michael O’Neill he helped guide them to this summer’s European Championships in France, where they reached the knock-out stages.
Born and raised in Kirkcaldy, Austin started out as a youth player at Forfar Athletic. His playing career then took him all over the world as he spent three years playing college football in the United States with UNC Wilmington Seahawks. He then returned to Europe in 2002 for a year-long spell with Romanian second division side CF Braila. A three-year period with Japanese club FC Kariya followed before his playing career came to an end.
His return to Scotland saw him commence his coaching career with Fife club Cupar Hearts at the age of 27. He led the team to its first Fife Cup victory in over 100 years and secured a place in the Scottish Amateur Cup Final at Hampden.
His achievements didn’t go unnoticed and soon earned him a move to Cowdenbeath where he served as Danny Lennon’s assistant coach. He helped the club secure back-to-back promotions during his two years at Central Park.
Austin then moved on to pastures new once again as he followed Lennon to St Mirren in 2011. The highlight of his three-years in Paisley was no doubt the club’s League Cup Final victory against the Jambos in 2013.
He then left the Saints in March 2014 to take on his role with Northern Ireland. His abilities also saw him offered a short-term role with the Mexican national side, who tasked him with analysing their opponents at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His coaching duties also stretch beyond the professional game; he is the founder of AMsoccer Club, a Fife-based organisation that coaches hundreds of youngsters. If that wasn’t enough to keep him occupied, he is also the founder and MD of AMsportstours; an award-winning football travel company.
As of today, however, his attention turns to leading Hearts into a new era alongside Head Coach Ian Cathro. Their first test comes this Saturday when the boys in maroon take on Rangers at Ibrox.