First Team

Getting to know: Ian Cathro

5th December 2016

An introduction to Hearts' new Head Coach.

Hearts have completed their search for a new Head Coach by today appointing Ian Cathro. Read on to get acquainted with the new man in the Tynecastle hotseat…

At 30-years of age, Ian Cathro becomes the youngest ever top-flight manager in Scotland. Don’t let the number fool you though, as Ian has a wealth of experience in the game both at home and abroad.

Born in Dundee, a teenage Ian began developing soccer schools for kids in his hometown. Known as Cathro’s Clinics, these innovative sessions took off and soon caught the eye of one Craig Levein, then Dundee United manager.

Liking what he saw, Craig brought Ian into the Tannadice set up in 2008, naming him as the club’s Head of Youth. Responsible for developing young talent, Ian’s renamed BOX Soccer training programme played an integral part in bringing through the likes of Ryan Gauld and John Souttar into the first-team picture. Indeed, Gauld later moved to Sporting Lisbon for over £3million, while Souttar eventually found himself at Hearts, where he continues to shine as one of the country’s top young defenders.

Involved with the SFA as a Performance Schools coach, where he helped design their programme, Ian caught the eye of many coaches during his sessions. So much so that in 2012, Nuno Espirito Santo – manager of Rio Ave, asked him to join the Portuguese Primeira Liga outfit as his assistant.

Spending two years in Northern Portugal, the duo managed two Cup Final appearances, securing Europa League qualification in the process.

Their partnership continued at Spanish giants Valencia in 2014, when the pair moved to the Mestalla with the remit of getting the club back to the Champions League. They duly obliged, finishing the 2014/15 season in La Liga’s 4th spot.

June 2015 brought a change of scenery for Ian in the form of Newcastle United. Lured to St James’ Park by then manager Steve McLaren, the club went through a tumultuous season, which ended in relegation. But not before new manager Rafa Benitez came onto the scene and, suitably impressed with Ian’s talents, he kept him as a key member of his backroom team. To date, Newcastle sit proudly atop of the Championship with one eye on instant promotion back to the Premier League.

With a reputation of being one of the brightest young coaches in the game, Ian is very highly regarded by those who have come into contact with him, and he now finds himself as Head Coach of Hearts. Director of Football Craig Levein has previously stated that he was looking for somebody who is “intelligent, a good communicator, enthusiastic and hungry for success”. Ian ticks all those boxes and everyone at Hearts welcomes him to Tynecastle.