BARRY Ferguson was appointed player-coach of Clyde tonight after agreeing a three-year contract for his first managerial job in Scotland. The former Rangers and Scotland captain replaces Jim Duffy and will be assisted by Malky Thomson at the League Two club.
Clyde chairman John Alexander said Ferguson’s commitment to developing young players won him favour over several other candidates for the role. The League Two club are keen to promote their own youngsters and 36-year-old Ferguson, who managed Blackpool during the second half of last season after Paul Ince’s sacking, will nurture them in his dual role.
“We are delighted that Barry has committed himself to taking Clyde forward as player coach,” said Alexander. “He won us over with his vision for developing our squad and commitment to building on our existing youth policy, as he establishes himself as a manager in the Scottish game.
“We undertook a thorough recruitment process and we were fortunate to have many quality candidates keen to be involved with Clyde.”
Ferguson parted company with Blackpool at the end of the season after winning only three of his 20 matches in charge. He managed to help them narrowly avoid relegation and now dips his toe into the managerial waters of Scottish football after a glittering playing career on both sides of the border.
There is another managerial vacancy to be filled at League One Arbroath, who have lost Paul Sheerin to Aberdeen. Sheerin becomes under-20 coach at Pittodrie in place of Neil Cooper, who left the position last month.
Sheerin said he had been left stunned and delighted by his whirlwind move back to full-time football. The 39-year-old former Aberdeen midfielder was only asked to return to Pittodrie on Thursday night by manager Derek McInnes, who telephoned him from his holiday in Florida.
Just a few hours later Sheerin, who led the Red Lichties to their only senior honour when they won the Third Division in 2011, had opted to move from his position at Gayfield.
Sheerin said: “Things have happened incredibly quickly as I had spent most of Thursday trying to bring new players to Arbroath. I signed Mark Whatley earlier in the week and was concentrating on getting the squad there assembled.
“It was a move that came right out of the blue but, having worked with Derek and his assistant Tony Docherty before at St Johnstone, I could not turn it down. They are two of the best guys in football and, of course, the chance to be in football again full-time was too good to turn down.
“Being involved in the training ground day in and day out again will be terrific.”
Sheerin’s last season at Arbroath did finish in a disappointing fashion as his side were relegated.
He has praised the people at the Angus club for sticking by him as he explained: “Arbroath’s directors, players and fans stuck by me last season and I cannot thank them enough for doing that.
“I was determined to lead them back to promotion this season and it was a very emotional conversation I had with the Chairman John Christison when I told him I was leaving.”
Sheerin, who started his playing career at Southampton before making his name at Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Ayr United, joined Aberdeen in January 2003 and played a major part in keeping Steve Paterson’s side in the top flight with a run of eight goals in 12 games.
A move to St Johnstone happened the following summer and he remained there for six seasons in total, winning the First Division with McInnes and Docherty in 2009 before heading to Gayfield.
Ironically, Aberdeen visit Arbroath next Saturday in a pre-season friendly and Sheerin said: “I would like to go to that game and say cheerio to everyone but of course Derek may have other plans for me.”
Sheerin’s assistant Stewart Petrie has taken over on an interim basis.