Hearts Women’s manager Kevin Murphy has left the club to take up a position at Rangers.
He has been appointed as the Ibrox club's women’s side’s first team assistant coach and girls academy manager.
Murphy has played a significant role at Tynecastle during the past 18 months, guiding the team into the Scottish Women's Premier League at the end of last year while implementing an elite girls academy system at the club.
He was a key appointment for Hearts when Ann Budge sought to increase the quality and professionalism of the women’s team with a six-figure investment in 2018.
Murphy arrived from Manchester City where he was the women’s technical director, overseeing all football operations within their women’s academy department
Murphy told the club’s official website: “I want to thank the club for all they have done for me. Hearts gave me the opportunity to return back to Scotland and help create the integration of the girls and women’s teams to the club.
“I have been supported in this by so many wonderful staff and cannot thank them all enough for their dedication and willingness to support the programme as much as they have.
“A special mention to Ann Budge and Roger Arnott who from day one have supported me in my quest and I leave the club with a tinge of regret that I cannot see the project out however I am happy in the fact to know that it’s in a great place and the clubs continued support will ensure it goes from strength to strength.
“Now as a supporter, a pledger and an ex employee, I will look on from afar and wish all areas of the club success in the coming years.”
Murphy rejoins Rangers where he was once head coach of the women’s team and ran the girls academy before it was integrated closer with the men’s team.
He said: "I was excited by the aspirational vision and the relentless way that Rangers are going about achieving excellence in the Women’s game, a first in Scotland and something I simply couldn’t turn down.
“The chance to work with the top international players now in Rangers’ first-team in a full-time professional environment, and also the challenge of producing players who can force their way into a team at the level it has now become, is fantastic. I can’t wait to get started.”
Hearts academy director Roger Arnott paid tribute to Murphy as he now turns his attention to filling the vacant role.
“I would like to wholeheartedly thank Kevin for laying the foundations for what promises to be an exciting future for women’s and girls football at Hearts,” he said. “I am sure the whole football club will be sad to see Kevin go, but we wish him the very best in the future and look forward to welcoming him back to ORIAM next season.
“I have now began preparations for the recruitment of his successor, which is a fantastic opportunity for someone to further progress a newly established program both with the women and in the girls academy in the years ahead. I will look forward to appointing a replacement in the near future who can help the players and the staff in their season back in SWPL1.”