IAN CATHRO reckons Hearts is the perfect place to kick off his managerial career because the possibilities for the Tynecastle side are limitless.
The 30-year-old is Gorgie owner Ann Budge’s bold choice to replace former head coach Robbie Neilson after his departure to MK Dons.
Despite having had no notable playing career, he has built up an impressive CV. After started his coaching journey with Dundee United’s youth academy, he has gone on to have stints with Spanish big guns Valencia and most recently English championship leaders Newcastle.
He will now be assisted by Northern Ireland coach Austin McPhee – who turned down the opportunity to become the Scottish Football Association’s new performance director to accept the Jambos post – and is already planning big things for a club who are have made significant strides since their 2014 administration crisis.
He said: “This is the right place. It’s the right place because of the tremendous work that has taken place over the last two-and-a-half years.
“I’ve been fortunate to have been in two places in Valencia and Newcastle which are football clubs which mean so much for people. People live their lives through their football club and that makes it real, a special place.
“The reaction of the fans and the incredible support that was poured into this club when it had a bit of a dark day tells you that this is one of those clubs that has a real connection with people.
“That adds to my inspiration and desire to take on the work done here further.
“There isn’t a limit to what you can do unless you believe in the limits set by other people. I think you can already see I don’t live with those limits in my mind. I’m willing to make the statement we can go a little bit further.
“I believe there are improvements to be made here. There is space to grow and develop. We intend on being here for a long time. There will be highs and lows, but it’s about improving.”
Cathro’s appointment has sparked some fiesty debate in recent days, with the likes of former St Mirren midfielder Jamie Fularton and Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd publicly doubting his suitability for one of Scottish football’s biggest jobs.
But Budge is happy with her new-look management team.
She added: “I’m excited and delighted. We’ve had a number of conversations over the last few days and I think Ian and Austin are a fantastic addition to our team.”