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Page last updated at 17:32 GMT, Thursday, 14 January 2010

Jimmy Calderwood is unveiled as Kilmarnock manager

Former Aberdeen manager Jimmy Calderwood
Calderwood left Aberdeen in the summer but now returns to the SPL

Jimmy Calderwood has become Kilmarnock manager but will initially only take charge of the Scottish Premier League side until the end of the season.

The Ayrshire club, who parted company with Jim Jefferies on Monday, presented the 54-year-old former Aberdeen boss to a Thursday media conference.

Killie chairman Michael Johnston said that Calderwood "ticked the right boxes" because of his SPL experience.

Calderwood said: "I am just delighted to get back into the game."

He will be joined at Rugby Park by Jimmy Nicholl, who was also his assistant at Pittodrie and with Dunfermline Athletic, and still hoped that money would be found for first-team coach Sandy Clark.

Calderwood explained that he had not enjoyed his first-ever break from football, having left Aberdeen at the end of last season.

I look forward to working with him for the rest of the season and hopefully beyond that.

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston

Asked why he had taken the job, he said: "Because the chairman asked me.

"It is a famous old club and we have been out of the game for what seems like a long time and was there something going to happen in the next three or four months?"

Johnstone had considered making an even shorter-term appointment while also realising that he might need to move fast to secure the right manager with Dundee United and Motherwell also having vacancies.

But Calderwood said it the short-term nature of the agreement was it his insistance and recognised that it was open to him to move to another club at the end of the season.

"It gives us a chance to look at Kilmarnock and they will have a look at us," he said. "I think it's good for the club that it's only four months and it's good for us."

Calderwood praised the work of predecessor Jefferies and assistant Billy Brown, who left Rugby Park on Monday after eight years.

However, he thought there was quality enough in the squad to do better than their current second bottom spot in the SPL.

"It's not going to be easy in the position we are in at the moment, but I honestly believe that we have a squad that should be around seventh place or higher," he said.

Johnston had high hopes that Calderwood, who began his managerial career in the Netherlands with Willem II and Nijmegen, could emulate his previous achievements in Scotland's top flight.

"You only have to look at his track record in the SPL with Dunfermline and Aberdeen," he said. "Only in his first season with Dunfermline did he finish outside the top six.

"We are only seven points away from that now and we both feel that is attainable."

Johnston had also interviewed Queen of the South manager Gordon Chisholm and former Kilmarnock winger Tommy McLean, the former Dundee United and Motherwell boss presently working with Scotland's youths.


McLean rejected the suggestion of taking the job for anything less than until the end of the season, while it would have required compensation to secure Chisholm.

Former Scotland manager George Burley is also believed to have had talks, while the Kilmarnock chairman revealed that he had discussed the job with other candidates before deciding on Calderwood.

"I would like to thank Tommy McLean, Gordon Chisholm and several other managerial candidates that I spent time with," said Johnston.

"It was a fantastic opportunity to get a quality manager and Jimmy stood out obviously because of his fantastic SPL record.

"It was fantastic that Jimmy was able to take this challenge at short notice and he ticks all the boxes as far as our requirements are concerned.

"I look forward to working with him for the rest of the season and hopefully beyond that."

Meanwhile, Johnston stressed that Calderwood would have no funds to strengthen his squad.

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see also
Investor out to be Killie saviour
13 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Jefferies insists exit was right
12 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Chick Young's view
12 Jan 10 |  Football
Jefferies exit pleases fans chief
12 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Killie part with boss Jefferies
11 Jan 10 |  Kilmarnock
Burley sacked as Scotland manager
16 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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