BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Hearts are searching for a new under-20s manager following the departure of Jack Ross.
Ross, 39, left his role as assistant manager at Dumbarton to join the capital club in July 2014, working with the Jambos’ youngsters and charged with ensuring a pathway to the first-team.
Under the blueprint of laid out by Hearts director of football Craig Levein, Ross was widely expected to be in line to ultimately succeed head coach Robbie Neilson.
However, the former Clyde, Falkirk and St Mirren defender was given leave last week amid uncertainty over his future and, following showdown talks in the preceding 48 hours, he formally departed the club yesterday.
Levein said: “After discussions with Jack yesterday, it was confirmed that he would leave Heart of Midlothian FC.
“We would like to put on record our appreciation for all of the excellent work carried out by Jack during his time with us and for the dedication and commitment he has shown in helping us towards achieving our long-term goals.”
Hearts have now actively started the process of finding Ross’ successor.
Under-17s boss Liam Fox has impressed since joining the staff from Raith Rovers in the summer and became the first Hearts coach in a decade to win the East of Scotland Shield with a 3-1 triumph over Hibernian on Saturday.
However, it is understood Fox is not in the frame to step up, with Hearts considering external candidates for the position which could eventually lead to the top job at Tynecastle.
Former Jambos player, coach and caretaker manager Stevie Frail has already been linked with the post.
However, allied with individuals Hearts have already earmarked, the club are also acutely aware that the vacancy is likely to solicit widespread applications and will carefully consider their options before making an appointment.