FALKIRK SECURE HARTLEY AS BOSS

Paul hartley has agreed a deal to replace Peter Houston. Picture Michael Gillen
Paul hartley has agreed a deal to replace Peter Houston. Picture Michael Gillen

Paul Hartley has agreed to 
replace Peter Houston as manager of Falkirk, and will 
begin his new job on Monday.

Last night, as The Falkirk Herald went to press, the Bairns were unveiling the former Dundee and Alloa boss to the assembled media.

The ex-Celtic, Aberdeen and Hearts midfielder has been among the top contenders on bookmakers’ lists since the role became vacant.

Hartley was preferred to Jim McIntyre and both held informal discussions with the club last week in the wake of Peter Houston’s departure.

Directors convened on Tuesday evening to talk over the candidates after applications closed on Monday and both the former Dundee boss and ex-Ross County boss were identified as the leading candidates.

Then just 24 hours later the Bairns had lined up their man and were ironing out the formalities in his deal.

With Hartley not taking over until Monday, Alex Smith will remain in interim charge of the first team alongside Mark Kerr, Lee Miller and Michael McArdle.

Speaking earlier in the week the 77-year-old said he believed the job was an attractive one. More than 100 would-be bosses agreed and submitted applications.

Smith was part of the process and said: “I’ve been asked to help in the recruitment like I did the last time.

“Most applicants I have known. Paul Hartley played for me at youth levels.

“It’s a very attractive job because you can get your teeth into it. It’s attractive to a coach with the Academy and the joy of bringing players through.

“Though it’s the priority we want a manager who is not only interested in the first team.

“We want someone interested in the captain through to the youngest Academy boy – it’s all about taking the club forward.”

Hartley has ex-players in the Bairns ranks; David Mitchell, Alex Harris and Rory Loy.