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Reasons For Liam O’Brien’s Departure From Hibs Revealed

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Liam O’Brien left Hibs for family reasons, the club announced yesterday, quashing rumours and speculation amongst supporters following his departure in the summer.

Following  the recent  meeting between Chairman Rod Petrie and a number of invited representatives from various supporters groups, an issue was raised regarding the changes in back-room staff at the club, and in  response, a statement was published on the official website highlighting the changes that have taken place.

The appointment of Jimmy Nicholl as Assistant Manager was announced on 15 June 2013, two days before the playing squad was due to return for pre-season training.  About a week before that, it was clear to Pat Fenlon from discussions with First Team Coach Liam O’Brien that Liam would not be returning to the Club for family reasons.

Dave Henderson was recruited as Football Development Manager in October 2012, and reports directly to the Manager on talent identification and development. Dave’s details have been on the Official Club website since 2012.

The Club recruited former player Alan Maybury to the new post of Development Coach in July this year. Alan has also been registered as a professional football player, so that he may play in SPFL U20 and East of Scotland matches to coach Hibs’ young players through matches on the pitch. He therefore works closely with James McDonaugh, Head of Youth Coaching and with the first team backroom staff.

Scott Thomson (Goalkeeper Coach) extended his contract with the Club towards the end of last season to complete the line-up of Football Department coaches.

The Medical Team provide support services to the professional football players within the Football Department (U20 and first team) and also oversee the provision of services within the Football Academy.

Senior Physiotherapist Sarah Watt left in December 2012 to provide physiotherapy to elite athletes focused on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and Head Physiotherapist Calum Rea left at the end of last season to take up a post within private healthcare.

Accordingly, a new physiotherapy team has been at the Club since the start of pre-season. David Henderson is Head Physiotherapist. He joined the club from Newcastle United and has 20 years’ experience of first team football physiotherapy. Kitty Forrest was also as full time Senior Physiotherapist having worked for the Club in a part time capacity for nearly four years.

The two Club doctors continue to serve the Club which always has two Club doctors present at home match days. The Club also hires in the services of a fitness and performance coach (including injury prevention and recovery from injury); a masseur and a podiatrist on a consultancy basis amongst other services.

There have been no substantive changes in the Football Academy for a number of years. Bill Hendry is Head of Youth Development and James McDonaugh is the Head of Academy Coaching. The Football Academy is responsible for all youth football up to and including the squad of young professional players at U20 level.

The Manager has a keen interest in youth football and provides advice and recommendations to the Football Academy staff. An example of that is the recruitment of two players with 1996 birthdays, Cody Mulhall and Gareth McCaffrey, over the summer.

The Club’s Football Academy is an Elite Academy within the Scottish FA Club Academy Scotland system developed by the Scottish FA Performance Director Mark Wotte. The Club expects to consolidate its position as a Level Four Academy this Season and progress to Level Five in Season 2014-15 as Academy coaching staff obtain their continuous professional development awards on Scottish FA courses. The Club has one of the leading Elite Football Academies in Scotland.

There are many other staff both paid and volunteers who work within the Football Academy and the Football Department.

The club expressed their gratitude to the staff who have left and wish them every success in their new careers.

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