Frankie McAvoy: Hearts make key appointment with former Preston North End boss

Hearts have appointed Frankie McAvoy as the club’s new academy director.

Last month the club’s academy manager Roger Arnott left the club with immediate effect.

In his place arrives the hugely experienced McAvoy who has played an integral role at clubs in Scotland and England.

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The 54-year-old was key in in the progression of James McArthur and James McCarthy at Hamilton Accies during his time as academy director at New Douglas Park. Both going on to play in the Premier League and become full internationals.

Frankie McAvoy is Hearts' new academy director. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

It was at Accies where McAvoy encountered Hearts sporting director Joe Savage.

He became a first-team coach under Alex Neil and would follow the former Hamilton boss to Norwich City and Preston North End, working with Savage at both clubs.

Most recently, he took on the managerial position at Preston before departing at the end of the 2021.

In his new role he will oversee the academy and youth system.

"There is a great foundation there already,” McAvoy said.

"The task is like any other academy within Scotland, to promote within and get your own players coming through and try and get them in the first team. It is easy saying that, the difficult part is producing players and having them ready for the manager to call upon.

"My role is not just about trying to develop players but to give the experience and knowledge I have to other coaches we have within the academy.”

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Savage praised the appointed with it ticking “every box".

“In Frankie we have got the right person for what is a very important job," he told the club's website.

“I’m lucky enough to have known Frankie for a while and he is a top operator with so much high-level experience.

“He ticks every box, having coached at youth level and helping to get young talent into the first team with Hamilton Accies, right the way through to coaching in the Premier League and managing in the Championship.

“There will no doubt be a few new challenges for him in this role but I’ve no doubt he will excel in it. It’s an exciting time for this club as we continue to put all the building blocks in place for sustained success, and I’m really happy that we’ve got someone of Frankie’s calibre on board.”

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