Hibernian last night appointed George Craig as head of football operations, with his new role offering him jurisdiction over the academy and player development programme.

He will also help to develop Hibs' coaching programme in the local community.

His arrival at Easter Road has been heralded since Craig had been employed in helping to restructure the Scottish Football Association's initiative - the club academy Scotland elite player development programme. That role had allowed him to work closely with Mark Wotte, the SFA performance director, but also encouraged the advances of Leeann Dempster.

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The Hibs chief executive took office earlier this month and has been quick to appoint Craig. "My main objective will be to ensure there is a clear pathway from our academy to the first team," he said.

Dempster has also agreed a tie-in with local non-league side Spartans, aimed at identifying and nurturing young talent from the area. The chief executive has still to appoint a new manager, though, with Ian Murray of Dumbarton an early favourite for the post. "It's flattering but it is purely speculation," said Colin Hosie, the Dumbarton vice-chairman.