CLIENT NEWS: KEVIN THOMSON ON THE CHALLENGE AHEAD AT KELTY HEARTS

  • Leaves Rangers Academy job to take first managerial post in the SPFL
  • Follows Ibrox icon Ferguson in the hotseat as new club jump into the professional ranks from Lowland League
  • Gers Sporting Director Ross Wilson pays tribute to Thomson’s drive and ambition as a coach at club where he starred as a player

MAN ON A MISSION...Thomson has made quick progress as a coach since he hung up his bootsrangers.co.uk

KEVIN THOMSON has been appointed manager of Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) League Two newcomers Kelty Hearts.

The 36-year-old Sport Careers Agency client leaves his post as Head Coach of former club Rangers' B team to take the plunge into league management in his own right.

Thomson, who won three Scotland caps in a stellar playing career that took in Hibs, Rangers, Middlesbrough and Dundee, is one of the Scottish game's most promising emerging technical area talents.

He succeeds Ibrox icon Barry Ferguson who worked alongside his former Gers team-mate Bob Malcolm to guide Lowland League Kelty into the pro ranks through a Play-Off win over SPFL fall-guys Brechin City before leaving for League One Alloa Athletic.

Kevin confessed he had left Ibrox with a "heavy heart" but stressed: "I can't wait to get started on the challenge ahead in my first managerial job in the SPFL.

"I want to get to work with the players and backroom team on the training pitch.

"I am also really looking forward to meeting the Kelty Hearts supporters and people within the community over the coming weeks and months."

Major figures inside Ibrox recognised Thomson's growing authority as a coach and this week the Rangers boss Steven Gerrard himself gave an insight to his own journey that resonates.

Speaking in a fascinating interview on the Rangers Online Coaching Convention Gerrard said: "I enjoyed my work as a coach in the Liverpool Academy developing players but I knew I needed more.

"I'm someone who thrives on playing for wins and points when the blood is pumping. I need to test myself in hostile environments on a Saturday."

BROTHERS IN ARMS...Kevin (second from right front row) alongside Kelty predecessor skipper Barry Ferguson before Rangers tackled Zenit St Petersburg in the 2008 UEFA Cup Finalpinterest.co.uk

That sort of competitive drive is embodied in his B Team Head Coach Thomson and that's why a League job was always going to be the next step in Kevin's journey.

Thomson leaves Ibrox with the best wishes of his former employers after lifting five trophies there as a player under legendary manager Walter Smith.

Rangers Sporting Director Ross Wilson said: "I'm delighted for Kevin, we have had numerous conversations regarding his ambitions in management and I'm pleased this opportunity has presented itself.

"Kevin joined Rangers Academy as an U14 coach and has worked his way through the U16 and U18 groups to the B-team. I want our Academy to be one that not only develops players but also supports the development of staff.

"Therefore, I am really pleased to see Kevin, particularly as a former Rangers player, develop his coaching credentials in our Academy and now onto senior management.

"I'm sure he will be successful at Kelty Hearts and wish him well in the job."

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