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EXCLUSIVE: Former Hibs youth chief lands Dunfermline head of academy role

Key role: Hendry
Key role: Hendry

Former Hibs youth chief Bill Hendry will lead Dunfermline Athletic’s new academy when it opens on January 1.

Hendry has been in charge of the Fife Elite Football Academy (FEFA) since June 2017, replacing current Dundee head of academy Stephen Wright in the role.

He was integral to the development of current Dunfermline first-team players Matty Todd, Lewis McCann, Paul Allan and Millar Fenton, and fostered a positive relationship with Pars chairman Ross McArthur.

With FEFA closing its doors for the final time on December 31 due to a lack of funding, Hendry has been pinpointed as the perfect candidate to oversee the Pars’ new structure.

FEFA graduate McCann has been a regular for Dunfermline of late

The experienced coach joined Hibs in 2000. He served as head of academy from 2007 to 2014, succeeding renowned talent-spotter John Park.

Upon Hendry’s ascension to the role, former Easter Road chairman Rod Petrie described him as ‘a first-rate organiser, with boundless enthusiasm and a wealth of experience’.

Prior to joining the Hibees, Hendry — formerly an English teacher — was a coach at Motherwell.

Influx of talent

Meanwhile, Courier Sport understands Dunfermline have agreed to take on every youngster affected by the closure of FEFA for the duration of 2022.

The moves seeks to ensure their development is not adversely impacted.

The Pars are investing heavily on infrastructure following their summer takeover by DAFC Fussball GmbH.

An impressive training base is being constructed in Rosyth, with a partial opening date slated for the start of the 2022/23 campaign.

But until the facility is ready to accommodate the Dunfermline youth academy, sessions will take place in various hired locations around the Fife area.

Dunfermline will join the ‘Performance’ tier of the Scottish FA’s Club Academy Scotland (CAS) system.

That is the second tier, below ‘Elite’, and includes sides such as St Johnstone, Partick Thistle and St Mirren.

The new Dunfermline academy will run seven teams from under-11s to a dual-band under-17/18 side.

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