Aberdeen have confirmed former midfielder Stephen Glass as their new manager.
The 44-year-old, who played for the Dons between 1994 and 1998, winning the Coca-Cola Cup in 1995, joins from Major League Soccer outfit Atlanta United, where he was reserve team boss.
A club statement said Glass had been chosen to fill the void left by Derek McInnes’ departure, because: “Stephen’s managerial experience aligns with AFC’s overarching coaching and playing philosophy; to inspire our supporters through an exciting brand of football with homegrown talent at its core, competing and winning at the highest level possible.”
Glass, who is yet to arrive in the north-east, said: “It is a real honour to be named Aberdeen FC manager. Since my retirement from playing, I have been focussed on becoming the best coach I can be with the aim of being in a position to secure an opportunity such as this.
“Having worked with a number of esteemed managers and coaches in the game, my football education has been extensive and my time with Atlanta United 2 has afforded me the chance to develop some exciting young players and hone my coaching skills.
“From the initial conversations I have had with the chairman and the board this week, I am hugely excited about the plans that are being put in place for next season.
“Dons’ fans can be assured by my drive for Aberdeen to compete fiercely and to win.”
Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack, who lives in Atlanta and was already acquainted with Glass, added: “During our recruitment process our football strategy, philosophy and the key attributes we desire in a new manager led us to short-listing and interviewing a number of emerging highly talented, driven and ambitious coaches. Stephen was the outstanding candidate for the role.
“He is a bright, young, emerging manager who has all the attributes we are looking for to take this club forward.
“His winning mentality, having been mentored in the ‘Aberdeen Way’ from an early age by the likes of Teddy Scott, Alex Smith and Willie Miller, and desire to embrace the club’s strategy were key factors in our decision.
“He is committed to an exciting, attacking style of football and maximising our player budget so we can get the best out of, and right balance between, experienced players and, crucially, developing and playing young first team players.
“His coaching style and track-record of developing young players at Atlanta United, like George Bello, from the academy to the first team, to now becoming a US international player, and working with top professionals like Argentinian international Pity Martinez, a South American player of the year, who Atlanta United then sold for around $20 million, along with his leadership and communication skills, are exactly what we need at this juncture for Aberdeen Football Club.”
Glass’ appointment at Pittodrie his maiden first-team management role, bar a spell in interim charge at Atlanta United.
While there is no confirmation of his backroom team as yet, it is expected Celtic midfielder Scott Brown will join the Reds as player-assistant, with Glass also keen to get England strikers coach Allan Russell on board.
Meanwhile, Atlanta United president Darren Eales, a member of the Aberdeen board as part of the clubs’ strategic partnership, lauded Glass for his “crucial” contribution in Georgia.
Eales said: “We can’t thank Stephen enough for his contributions to the club.
““For the past three seasons, he has played a crucial role in the development of players across all levels of the club, from academy to first team.
“Stephen will undoubtedly be missed, but we are excited for his opportunity to lead the club where he made his professional debut.”