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Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 25 June 2010 16:01 UK

Jimmy Nicholl is confirmed as Cowdenbeath manager

Jimmy Nicholl
Nicholl was assistant at Kilmarnock for the second half of last season

Jimmy Nicholl has been confirmed as Cowdenbeath's new manager, with former Rangers director Donald Findlay being revealed as the club's chairman.

The 53-year-old Nicholl, the former Manchester United, Rangers and Northern Ireland full-back, succeeds Danny Lennon at Central Park.

Findlay told BBC Scotland: "Jimmy is an extremely good man, very experienced.

"He is the kind of person that will convince people we are serious about trying to take Cowdenbeath forward."

Nicholl was assistant to Jimmy Calderwood at Kilmarnock last season.

But the pair left after the Ayrshire club narrowly avoided relegation from the Scottish Premier League, with Calderwood complaining about the player and staffing budget.

I am fully aware of the bigger picture and will be looking to take the club out into the community

Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl

Lennon departed the Fife club to join St Mirren earlier this month, having steered them into Division One.

And that has opened the way for a return to Fife for Nicholl, who had two spells as manager of Raith Rovers and will be in opposition to the Kirkcaldy club this coming season.

Findlay said of his appointment as chairman of the Blue Brazil: "I was asked by the people at Cowdenbeath if I could help them out now that they are in the First Division and needed to do a fair bit of reorganisation.

"I have never been other than very proud of the fact that, as a grandson of a coalminer from Cowdenbeath, I am Cowdenbeath born and bred and it was an invitation to help out my hometown team."

The 59-year-old senior advocate was vice-chairman of Rangers but resigned from the Glasgow club's board in 1999 after being filmed singing sectarian songs at a supporters' event.

On the task facing his new club, he said: "It's an enormous challenge because the aim this year must be to seek to survive in this division.

"If we can do that then we can take the club forward, we can develop, we can think about a new stadium to replace Central Park.

"This is going to be a crucial year. I want it to be fun for everybody because it should be about fun."

Nicholl's greatest success in coaching came when Rovers stunned Celtic to lift the League Cup in 1994, which he followed by winning the First Division title.

In between his two stints at Stark's Park, Nicholl spent an unsuccessful year at Millwall, overseeing the Lions' relegation to the old Division Two.

Following a month as caretaker boss with Dunfermline Athletic, he teamed up with Calderwood in 1999 to forge a long-lasting partnership at East End Park, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.

Since his departure, Lennon has raided Central Park for his assistant Iain Jenkins, along with defender Darren McGregor and striker Paul McQuade.

And one of Nicholl's first tasks will be to appoint a player/assistant manager, with the Northern Irishman hoping to make an appointment next week.

Donald Findlay waves to Rangers supporters at Ibrox
Findlay was vice-chairman with Rangers until 1999

Nicholl told the club website: "I am looking forward to the challenge of managing Cowdenbeath Football Club and working with this terrific group of players.

"I talked to a number of people about the club and met with the chairman on Tuesday and have a gut feeling that this is a positive place to be.

"I have total respect for what Danny Lennon and the players have achieved over the last two years.

"The season coming is a big step up and the focus initially will be on preparing the squad for the First Division campaign and looking at areas of the squad we need to strengthen."

Cowdenbeath state that they chose Nicholl from "a large number of high-quality applications".

Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell and former Hearts, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Derry City boss John Robertson are among those who were considered by the Blue Brazil.

It is thought that the club's board was keen to combine the job of football manager with commercial elements and broadening the club's appeal in the local area.

"I am fully aware of the bigger picture and will be looking to take the club out into the community," added Nicholl.

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see also
'Rangers will survive' - Findlay
25 Jun 10 |  Rangers
St Mirren sign Cowden's McQuade
21 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Jenkins follows Lennon to Saints
17 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Cowden's McGregor joins Buddies
15 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Lennon bullish on St Mirren role
08 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Calderwood splits from Kilmarnock
31 May 10 |  Kilmarnock
Cowden committed to Central Park
19 May 10 |  Cowdenbeath
Song row QC considered suicide
16 Oct 99 |  Scotland

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