The experienced Scottish coach has been identified by chief executive Ben Kensell as the man he wants to revamp the player pathway at Easter Road and ensure more youngsters are equipped to come through the ranks and challenge for a place in the first-team.
Kean began his career as a winger at Celtic but became better known as a coach – working as an assistant at Fulham, Real Sociedad, Coventry and Blackburn before taking the reins at Ewood Park as manager.
Since then, he’s had spells in Brunei, Crete and Australia, coaching Melbourne Victory in the A League earlier this year, while also contributing to the Scottish FA’s coach education programme.
Kean’s arrival is part of a behind-the-scenes reshuffle at the club’s East Mains training base with owner Ron Gordon and new CEO Kensell putting their own mark on the club.
Describing it as “an exciting time to build, lead and develop” the Hibs academy, Kean said he was delighted to accept the position.
“It’s a completely new role that matches my expertise in player development and having managed successfully at a high-level, I have the knowledge, vision and skillset to build a competitive development squad at Hibernian, and ensure it performs to its fullest potential,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to working closely with Jack Ross and his coaching team to successfully develop the club’s Academy. We will be introducing some changes that’ll help establish and execute an effective pathway programme for young players to play and perform successfully in the first team squad.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity to come back home to Scotland to focus on domestic and overseas talent identification and development. It’s my passion and I’m convinced that player talent exists in Scotland that could quickly and effectively be developed through a programme of innovative coaching. This will provide a sustainable pool of talented players for the first team here at Hibernian FC.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and firmly believe that I can make an instant impact as the new Academy Director.”
Hibs boss Jack Ross stated that he was looking forward to working with Kean adding: “I have no doubt that his experience and attributes will be of major benefit to the club as we look to continue to produce good young players.”
Hibs CEO Ben Kensell said the appointment of Kean completes the structure of the football department at Easter Road.
“We were very particular when recruiting for this role and wanted someone with a clear set of credentials to help move us forward as a club,” he said.
“Steve has a number of different skills that lends himself perfectly for the role of Academy Director, alongside having the ability to assist across a number of different elements in the football department.
“To bring someone like Steve with his experience, coaching nous and credibility to the club is a big step forward and is really exciting, especially for our young players, and we look forward to working with him.”