Steven Naismith has been appointed as Football Development Manager by Heart of Midlothian Football Club after deciding to call time on his playing career.
The former Scotland forward, capped 51 times for the national team, hangs up his boots following a glittering and trophy-laden career, and now enters a new chapter that will see him forge the path of Hearts’ brightest young talents.
34-year-old Steven joined Hearts for two loan spells between 2018 and 2019, before signing a permanent deal at Tynecastle. He would go on to score 29 goals in 90 appearances, following a career with Kilmarnock, Rangers, Everton and Norwich City.
Speaking about today’s announcement, he said: “It is always a big decision for any player to hang up his boots, but I feel the time is now right to make a transformation from playing into a football development role.
“I am fortunate and delighted that Hearts see me as someone that can bring a positive dynamic to the football development structure at the club, where I will be assisting and shaping the development of players making their way towards the first team.
“That point of transition is a very big one, as I know that from personal experience. The players need not only to be right technically and physically but also mentally, and I look forward to working with the players at Hearts and the directors, management, coaching, analysts, medical and science staff to give the Manager the type of first-team ready players that can enhance the selection options he has.
“I have had great experiences and opportunities to learn from many great players, coaches, managers, analysts, sports scientists, doctors, physios, fitness, strength and speed coaches at club and international level. I will look to bring that experience and learning to the role and also seek to continue my path of ongoing education and self-development that have been part of my career to date.
“There are many people for me to thank for the opportunities of the past which I will do personally, but I feel today is about the future. I would, however, like to thank the Chairman Ann, the Chief Executive Andrew, the Sporting Director Joe and especially the Manager Robbie for their help in making this transition as smooth as possible.
“A special thanks also has to go to the supporters of Hearts for welcoming me from day one and making me feel part of this special club.
“I am truly excited by this new opportunity and thank Hearts for this offer to move to the next stage of my career.”