SCOT Ian Cathro is set to be appointed as assistant to head coach Steve McClaren at Newcastle.
The 28-year-old, who left a similar post at Valencia at the end of last season, is understood to have accepted the Magpies’ offer to join McClaren’s staff after a lengthy search by the club.
I want to fill a stadium and make people excited about comingIan Cathro
Cathro, who started coaching in his teens after injury ended his fledgling playing career, has emerged as a target in recent days and, while the club is yet to confirm his appointment, it is believed a deal is now in place.
McClaren turned to the former Dundee United coach after struggling in his efforts to bring in a successful former player in the early years of a new coaching career, with Phil Neville and Bolo Zenden among the men sounded out about the vacancy.
The former England manager’s need is pressing with the start of pre-season a little more than a week away and his staff still to be assembled in the wake of the departures of John Carver and Steve Stone. Fitness guru Steve Black has also been linked with a role at St James’ Park as the club prepare to embark upon a new era after a dreadful 2014-15 campaign.
Confirmation of Cathro’s appointment will provide a boost for both McClaren and managing director Lee Charnley, with the latter desperately trying to land the players identified as targets for a major summer recruitment drive at the same time as securing additions to the coaching team.
The Tyneside-bound coach, who was linked with the manager’s job at Rangers earlier this year, enjoys a blossoming reputation within the game, and his comments in a recent interview may strike a chord with fans left disgruntled by last season’s struggles.
Cathro told BBC Sport in March: “You project forward to the types of job you want to do.
“I want to fill a stadium and make people excited about coming, feeling that as an enjoyable thing to watch and embrace, whilst being able to do something of significance at a club that leaves a structure and a system so that it continues to profit from beyond my period of time.
“That’s the types of jobs that are more appealing and more natural to me. You’re paid a lot of money, football gives you a lot of good things, and it’s the club’s position in society that gives you that. It’s important that the club gets its value from you.”
After injury curtailed his playing career in youth football, Cathro established a coaching school in Dundee while in his teens before working with Dundee United’s youth academy for four years until 2011.
His move to Portugal came after a spell working for the Scottish Football Association’s regional coaching set-up.
Cathro met Nuno Espírito Santo from Portuguese side Rio Ave, while both were working on their coaching qualifications under the SFA. Cathro then joined Santo at Rio, and the pair led the club to a sixth-place league finish, two cup finals and European qualification for the first time.
Both moved to Valencia in 2014 and helped return La Liga club to the Champions League. Cathro left Valencia at the end of last season for family reasons.