Kilmarnock have announced the appointment of Kenny Shiels and Jimmy Nicholl, as their new management team.
After taking on the role of caretaker manager when previous incumbent Mixi Paatelainen departed to become manager of the Finnish National team, Shiels becomes the permanent manager of the Rugby Park side.
A statement on the Kilmarnock website said: “Kenny steps up to the position of manager having served as assistant to Mixu Paatelainen last season and then interim manager for the final eight games of the season following Mixu’s departure to become manager of the Finnish national team. Kenny served as a manager in his native Northern Ireland, leading his teams into Europe, before moving to England to join Tranmere Rovers. He has extensive knowledge of players and coaches in England and Ireland which will be invaluable as he rebuilds the squad for next season. He favours ‘the passing game’ and a modern approach to sports science and training – both of which served the team well last season, to the delight of everyone who follows the SPL.”
Meanwhile Jimmy Nicholl, who was previously at Kilmarnock as assistant to Jimmy Calderwood, returns to the club, leaving Cowdenbeath.
The statement added of Nicholl: “He has a wealth of experience of football management in Scotland following an illustrious career as a professional.”
On his appointment as Kilmarnock No.2 Nicholl said: “I was surprised. I knew Kenny as a manager at Coleraine and I knew the name of course. It was only because I had Steven Old on loan during the season that I kept phoning Mixu Paatelainen and Kenny would answer the telephone and I’d let him know how Steven was getting on. I got to know him a wee bit but there hadn’t been anything work-wise before now.”
Nicholl admits working with another manager will take some getting to used to. He said: “It will be strange but it will be good for me. I learned so much from Jimmy Calderwood when he came from Holland and it was great. I’m learning all the time. I saw the brand of football they played last year at Kilmarnock and I really enjoyed it. If I can add anything to it at all, that’s what I’ll do. I’m really looking forward to seeing Kenny working in training and seeing what I can contribute. It’s all new for me but it will be good.”