Hibs appoint Paul Heckingbottom as new head coach

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Paul Heckingbottom has been appointed head coach of Hibs on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 41-year-old former Barnsley and Leeds United boss will be assisted by ex-Scotland internationalist and Sunderland coach Robbie Stockdale.

Paul Heckingbottom has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Hibs

Paul Heckingbottom has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Hibs

Following his appointment this evening, Heckingbottom said: “It’s an honour to be named head coach of Hibernian Football Club – a club with a rich history and commitment to playing attacking football.

“There is so much potential here and the club has everything going for it.

“I’m looking forward to getting to work and meeting the players and staff on Thursday, before stepping up preparations for Saturday’s game against Hamilton.

“I will give everything I have to be a success here. Supporters can be assured of that.”

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie said: “We are pleased to have secured the services of Paul and Robbie and look forward to seeing what they have to bring to the Hibernian Training Centre and Easter Road Stadium.

“Paul excelled throughout the interview process. He is bright, driven and hungry to help drive the club forward. As a board we will do all that we can to assist him in his endeavours.”

Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added: “Paul made a really positive impression on us from our first meeting with him.

“His work at Barnsley speaks for itself, where he was able to combine the kind of dynamic, attacking football our own fans appreciate with the development of some talented young players.

“With the structure we already have in place, Paul is the right person to embrace that support and take it to a new level.

“On behalf of everyone at Hibernian, we would like to extend a warm welcome to both Paul and Robbie.”

Heckingbottom emerged as the leading contender to take the reins yesterday after the Capital club broke off talks with former Portsmouth and Oxford manager Michael Appleton over terms in his contract.

The two English coaches were top of Hibs’ list of candiates and, with Appleton out of the running, the Capital club trained their sights firmly on the Yorkshireman.

Heckingbottom has been out of football since leaving Leeds last summer. He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa after finishing 13th in the English Championship. Prior to joining the Elland Road outfit, Heckingbottom guided Barnsley to promotion from England’s League One and won the Football League Trophy.

Hibs had been without a head coach since Neil Lennon vacated the role on January 30.