Cathro reunited with Santo at Wolves
Written by Simon Austin — July 1, 2018
IAN CATHRO has been reunited with mentor Nuno Espirito Santo after being appointed as first-team coach at Wolves.
The duo first met in 2009 on an SFA coaching course and three years later Santo made the Scot his assistant at Portuguese minnows Rio Ave.
They proved an effective combination as the club qualified for the Europa League for the first time in their history in 2012/13.
In the summer of 2014, the duo moved to Valencia in Spain, although Cathro left for family reasons to become Steve McClaren’s assistant at Newcastle United in June 2015.
However, the pair remained in close contact and Cathro did some coaching work at Wolves last summer after being sacked as Hearts manager.
The 31-year-old said: “I am very excited about joining Wolves and looking forward to working with a coach and staff I know, trust and believe in.
“All of us share the same footballing philosophy and that is such an important factor for a successful coaching team. Wolves is a fantastic club with a rich history and lots of potential, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Cathro has had a fascinating and unusual career path. He never played football professionally and was talent-spotted by Craig Levein while working as a youth coach at his own clinic.
Levein, who was manager of Dundee United at the time, made Cathro head of the club’s Academy. He was only 23 at the time.
After that, the young coach was put in charge of the SFA’s regional performance centre in his home town of Dundee, before deciding to leave to join Rio Ave.
The SFA publicly rebuked him for the decision, but Cathro explained that the old boy’s network in Scotland persuaded him to look elsewhere for opportunities.
"(Portugal) is not like here - where it’s the manager and the guy he played with 20 years ago," he said.
“In Portugal, the idea of a technical team is to get the right people. None of use knew each other but Nuno identified the attributes he has, what was still required and then found the best guy for each of the other things and put us together.”
His time at Hearts was short-lived and he was sacked by his old mentor Levein after winning just eight of his 30 games in charge. Director of Football Levein subsequently appointed himself as manager.