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Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 08:23 GMT 09:23 UK
Ivanauskas named new Hearts boss
Ivanauskas took over from Graham Rix in March
Ivanauskas took over from Graham Rix in March
Valdas Ivanauskas has been named as the new head coach of Hearts on a permanent basis after guiding the team to Scottish Cup success last season.

Ivanauskas was in interim charge following the sacking of Graham Rix in March and also guided the team to second place in the league.

"I never hid my desire to become the head coach and I am very pleased that this dream has been realised," he said.

Former Belarus coach Eduard Malofeev has been named sporting director.

A statement said the 64-year-old would be "in charge of the strategic direction and development of football at all levels of the football club".

Ivanauskas will be assisted by John McGlynn and the rest of the coaching staff will remain the same.

"We have a massive season ahead of us, with big pressure to face," added Ivanauskas.

The stability that Valdas brings to the coaching side of the club can never be undervalued

Hearts captain Steven Pressley

"We have some excellent players, and I am sure we will make good progress. It is an exciting time to be associated with Heart of Midlothian.

"Our attention is quickly turning to our first game in Edinburgh against Osasuna and I am looking forward to meeting the fans again."

Hearts chairman Roman Romanov described the appointments as "a major step forward for the club"

"It was necessary to enhance our structure which will allow us to continue to progress," he added.

"It was important Valdas was integral in the creation of this new-look structure. I hope that our new appointments will bring excellent skills and a wider perspective on the development of Hearts as a top European football club."

Club captain Steven Pressley welcomed the decision to give Ivanauskas the job on a permanent basis.

"It is something that we, as a team, have wanted. The stability that Valdas brings to the coaching side of the club can never be undervalued," he added.

"This has given us a tremendous boost prior to the season starting. We are all looking forward to the new campaign."


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