Rhys McCabe (Airdrieonians FC)
Eyebrows were raised when Airdrieonians manager at the age of 29 in the summer of 2022. However, he has more than proved any doubters wrong. He won promotion in his first season in charge to take the club back to the second tier of Scottish football for the first time in over twenty years. He has also adopted a possession-based, attacking style of play and has put his trust in nurturing young talent which has made his job even more impressive. Still only 31 years of age, I have no doubt that McCabe has a big future in coaching ahead of him.
With the recent successes of Lewis Ferguson, Aaron Hickey, Ryan Christie and Nathan Patterson, Scotland’s top-flight has solidified its reputation as a proving ground for promising talents.@Callum7McFadden on five SPFL players to keep an eye on in 2024.https://t.co/RMRtFho5wQ pic.twitter.com/6oMt3RYYiH
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) January 3, 2024
Dougie Imrie (Morton FC)
A former Morton player, Imrie was appointed by the Cappielow club in December 2021 when there were relegation worries surrounding the club. However, there has been no such threat since Imrie has taken charge. He steered the club to safety in his first six months in charge before finishing 5th in his first full season in charge and only one point off 2nd place in the table. This season, he has stabilised things after having a number of injuries early in the season to have the club pushing towards the promotion playoffs again.
Michael Tidser (Kelty Hearts FC)
Michael Tidser was appointed as player-manager of Kelty Hearts in the summer of 2023. Many feared the worst for the club when they lost several key members of the hierarchy before Tidser took the reins at New Central Park. However, in his first six months as a manager, the 33-year-old and his side have impressed by playing possession-based football while remaining comfortably clear of any relegation worries.
Scott Agnew (Stranraer FC)
Agnew entered management for the first time with Stranraer in April 2023 at the age of 35. Having been a successful player for the club, he was eager to bring that success back to the club. His first task was to keep the club safe in League 2 as they were nervously looking over their shoulders in 7th place when he arrived. He managed to turn the ship pretty quickly and he has already proven a popular appointment with the fans of the club so much so that he signed a new long-term contract in December 2023. There is a real sense of optimism at Stair Park that Agnew could lead them back to better days and I would not be shocked to see him do just that.
Kris Doolan (Patrick Thistle FC)
The Partick Thistle legend was appointed as permanent Partick Thistle manager in March 2023 at the age of 36. He replaced experienced manager Ian McCall who had been at the helm of Patrick for several years. Within months of his appointment, he took the club to within two games of the Scottish Premiership by reaching the Playoff final before ultimately losing to Ross County. This season, he has the club in the promotion play-off spots again and will be hoping to go one step further this time with the Jags.
By: Callum McFadden / @Callum7McFadden
Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Ross MacDonald – SNS Group