Nick Montgomery has been appointed as the new Hibernian manager signing a three-year deal replacing Lee Johnson, who was sacked last month after losing 3-2 to Livingston at Easter Road. The 41-year-old leaves Central Coast Mariners, where he won the A-League championship last season, defeating Melbourne City 6-1 in the Grand Final, with the help of former Hibernian striker Jason Cummings, who scored a hattrick.
Sergio Raimundo will be Montgomery’s assistant, Miguel de Oliveria Miranda will become the new goalkeeping coach, and David Gray will remain the first-team coach. The former Sheffield United midfielder has a strong reputation for developing young players. In his first season in charge, the Mariners ranked number one in the Asian Football Confederation and 17th in the world for academy players playing in the first team. The Leeds-born coach said he aims to bring success back to Easter Road and wants the Hibs faithful to have a team that they can be proud of.
“My long-term goal is to hopefully bring success back to the club because it’s been a while, but that’s not easy. I’ll come in here and work hard. I think the squad is a really good squad, very talented so I’m really looking forward to working with them. Success is a team that’s competing in every game and every time you walk on that pitch with that Hibs shirt and Hibs badge you wear it with pride, then you go out and compete and give the fans a team that they can they can identify with.
I understand how important football is to the community, to the funds and not to come on the weekend or midweek whenever isn’t just come and watch your team but be excited to come and watch your team and hopefully, I can bring that to the fans. I really want to give them a team to be proud of. The show of faith from the club to give me the three-year deal, there are no guarantees in anything. I took this opportunity because I really believed in it and I believed in the project. I spent 15 years at one club, 11 years and over so I’m not somebody that moves around a lot.”
Hibernian’s director of football Brian McDermott spoke of his delight in the appointment of Montgomery. He said: “We are delighted to welcome Nick to Hibernian FC and are really excited about bringing him to the football club. I’ve followed Nick’s career for a number of years. As a player, he was a leader and he’s brought that quality into his managerial and coaching career. What he’s done as a coach is really impressive.
“He helped rebuild what is now a successful Academy and did a magnificent job of bringing through and developing young players. Alongside this, he has incredibly strong coaching credentials.”
McDermott believes that Montgomery’s style of play is the perfect fit for the Edinburgh side: “Ian (Gordon) Ben (Kensell), the board of directors, and I believe that Nick is the right fit for this football club. He has a real strong, distinctive style of play, is a front-foot manager, and what he achieved at Central Coast Mariners last season was phenomenal.
“He created a strong relationship and camaraderie between the supporters, players and staff, and he’s an excellent man manager which has seen him get the best out of the players he’s worked with. Everyone has bought into him as a person and as a coach. We look forward to working with him and bringing successful times to this fantastic football club.”
Montgomery started his playing career off at Sheffield United, spending 12 years at the club, making 349 league appearances. The former Scotland U-21 international joined Central Coast Mariners in 2012 and helped them win the league title in his first season. After retiring as a player in 2018, he joined Mariners’ coaching setup and was appointed as head coach in 2021.
The Leith side will be playing Kilmarnock at Rugby Park this weekend, which will be Montgomery’s first game in charge. Derek Mcinnes’ men have already beaten Rangers and Celtic on their home turf this season – so it will be a tough start for the newly appointed manager.
By: Scott Bradley / @ScottBradleyX
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Paul Devlin – SNS Group