Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Joe Savage as Sporting Director.
Joe is leaving his position as Head of Player Recruitment at English Championship side Preston North End to join the Jambos on January 4th, 2021.
36-year-old Joe, who spent seven-years playing senior football in Scotland before retiring in 2013, has enjoyed considerable success since becoming part of Alex Neil’s backroom team at Hamilton Academical eight-years ago.
He spent three years as Accies’ Director of Recruitment and Analysis before following Alex south to Norwich City in 2015 to take up the post of Chief Scout.
The Canaries would win promotion to the English Premier League that year as Joe continued to build up a solid network of relationships and contacts whilst focusing on player recruitment in the UK, Europe and further afield.
In June 2017 Joe would once again link up with Alex, this time at Preston North End, becoming the club’s Head of Player Recruitment and Scouting.
Working alongside the manager, Joe was responsible for several key areas within the club, including; long- and short-term planning of first team player recruitment, heading up the scouting department and managing its network of scouts, developing a talent identification department and handling incoming and outgoing loan arrangements.
Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, Joe said: “Hearts is such a massive Club with fantastic facilities and truly unbelievable backing from fans and sponsors. We have everything we need to quickly get back to where we belong.
“I am delighted to be coming back to Scotland. I look forward to putting the experience I have gained over my time down South and the network of contacts I have built to the best possible use at Hearts. I can’t wait to get started.”
Chairman Ann Budge said: “We have been looking for the right candidate for our Sporting Director role for some time and I could not be happier with the appointment. Joe brings not only experience, but also an energy and determination to succeed that makes him an ideal fit as we further develop our football operation over the coming months and years.”
Robbie Neilson commented: “I am really looking forward to working with Joe in the upcoming window and beyond. It is no secret we have been looking for the right person for this role for some time.
“I have been closely involved with the selection process and I am really confident that Joe and I will work well together. He has great experience and contacts across Europe and beyond. I believe he will be a great asset to the Club.”
The Club is also delighted to confirm that Jim Jefferies has agreed to extend his contract for a further six months. Jim took on the role as advisor to the board in July and he will continue to work alongside Ann and Robbie whilst helping Joe to settle into life at Hearts.