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Backroom team falls into place for Stubbs

Alan Stubbs, the Hibernian head coach, last night finished putting the finishing touches to his backroom team ahead of the new campaign in the SPFL Championship.

The former Everton coach Andy Holden has been appointed as Stubbs' assistant, while there was confirmation yesterday, too, that Alan Combe will be the goalkeeper coach at Easter Road.

Both men have joined Stubbs in the dugout during Hibs' last two friendly matches - against Berwick Rangers at the weekend and then Dunfermline Athletic on Tuesday night - and have now made their presence permanent. Hibs have also added the erstwhile Motherwell physio John Porteous and Paul Green, formerly strength and conditioning coach at Falkirk.

The appointment of Holden has satisfied Stubbs, in particular. The Welshman first moved to Everton in 1994 under Joe Royle before working under managers Howard Kendall, Walter Smith and David Moyes. He left Goodison Park last summer.

"I'm really pleased to be able to bring Andy on board. His experience will be a huge help to everybody at the club," said Stubbs, who named John Doolan as first-team coach last month. "Everybody in the football department will be able to tap into his immense knowledge, which was gained by working alongside excellent managers such as David Moyes and Walter Smith."

Combe - who has also been registered as a player for next season - is following in the footsteps of his late great uncle, Bobby Combe, a three-time Scottish league winner with Hibs during the Famous Five era. The 40-year-old will coach the goalkeepers at the club, a role he performed most recently at Hearts.

"Our keepers will learn a huge amount from working with Alan," added Stubbs, who is still looking for a sports scientist. "He has a wealth of experience and he is a talented coach. He will be another valuable addition to our backroom staff and he will also provide excellent back-up to our first-choice goalkeeper when called upon."

"We're aiming to build the best backroom staff we can to ensure our squad have everything they require in order to go out and succeed on the pitch."

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