The 50-year-old was confirmed as Hearts’ new manager yesterday evening, agreeing a 12-month deal with the option of a further year.
McGlynn has an outstanding reputation for bringing youth through the ranks and, with Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov making no secret of the fact that his club will have to rely on their younger players over the coming seasons, it looks likely he will have to work his magic again.
During his time at Raith, McGlynn took several Hearts youngsters on loan to Stark’s Park and that will have given him a real insight into the players available to him at Tynecastle.
Jason Thomson, Johnny Stewart, Jason Holt, Denis Prychynenko, Jamie Walker and David Smith have all had spells in Kirkcaldy and McGlynn is looking forward to working with them again.
McGlynn, who is now in his second spell with Hearts, having previously coached at the club for almost 11 years, said: “I’m ambitious and I’m delighted to get back to the SPL with a club that’s at my heart.
“I was ten years here previously. I know the players and I know the younger players coming through, having worked with some of them at Raith Rovers. I’m looking forward to working with the players. I’m delighted to be back.”
McGlynn first joined Hearts in 1996, during Jim Jefferies’ first spell as manager at the club and went on to be placed in caretaker charge on two separate occasions.
Having then worked as assistant manager to Valdas Ivanauskas when Hearts lifted the Scottish Cup in 2006, he quit just a few months later when he was offered the chance at Raith.
He steered them to the Second Division title in 2009 and to the Scottish Cup semi-final in 2010 – their first appearance at that stage of the competition for almost half a century.
He was voted the PFA Scotland manager of the year in season 2010-11.
McGlynn replaces Paulo Sergio, who quit Hearts earlier this month after rejecting the new deal that was offered to him by the Tynecastle club.
A Hearts spokesperson said of McGlynn’s appointment: “The post attracted interest from around the globe and the quality of the applications made it a difficult decision. John’s track record, though, in developing young players is outstanding and one of the key criteria for the appointment was an ability to successfully integrate youngsters into a senior squad which can compete competitively at the top end of the table.”
McGlynn’s first game in charge, ironically, will be the friendly match against Raith Rovers for Laurie Ellis’ testimonial on Saturday, July 14.
The Stark’s Park club will now have to start their own search for a new manager and McGlynn conceded that, although he was delighted to return to Hearts, it had still been a wrench to quit Raith.
“I’ve had five and a half good years at Raith Rovers and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I’ve got to go back to Raith Rovers and say goodbye to the players and that’s going to be difficult because there are some great characters there and some great players.
“I built up some great relationships with the board of directors, the players, my backroom staff and all the fans. Everyone has been so good so it is a wrench to leave.
“It’s been good there and I’ve had some good times but it’s time for a move.”