John Doolan confirms he considered applying to become Alan Stubbs’ successor at Hibs



John Doolan admits he came close to throwing his hat in the ring to become the new Hibernian manager, declaring: ‘I’m a Hibee now!’

The 47-year-old has joined Rotherham United as Stubbs’ assistant manager, continuing the management partnership which brought the Scottish Cup to Easter Road for the first time since 1902.

The duo have been close friends since childhood and, as a former first-team coach at Wigan Athletic in the Premier League and the Championship, Doolan will be a pivotal sounding board for the new Millers’ boss.

Alan Stubbs John DoolanHowever, Doolan has revealed that he agonised over the decision to follow Stubbs south of the border after falling in love with Edinburgh and Hibs during his two years in Scotland.

Asked whether he considered applying to succeed Stubbs, Doolan said candidly: “Yes. I couldn’t lie about that. My head has been in a bit a spin since I knew there was interest in Alan.

“If it was a few years down the line….

“When it becomes reality and you get the phone call it becomes a real test of your loyalty [to Stubbs], and we have only just started off as a partnership – a journey which took us to Hibs.

“We’ve left the club with the Holy Grail, as the fans call it, which is amazing. Those scenes after the final whistle were fantastic for the fans and also the parade the next day.

“Even now I am still reading things about fans celebrating on social media which is incredible. I’m a Hibee now, it’s as simple as that, my whole family are. It was a real pleasure and a real honour to work for them.

“I love the place, I love the people, and more so I love the club itself as well. It’s been a massive pull on my heartstrings to leave.”

Of those who have expressed an interest in the post, Hibs have identified Neil Lennon as their number one target and the former Celtic boss is reportedly weighing up an offer to take the reins at Easter Road.