Jul 1 2010 By Fraser Wilson
PARTICK THISTLE boss Ian McCall finally put his management team in place today when experienced quartet Ian Maxwell, Craig Hinchcliffe, Jackie McNamara and Simon Donnelly agreed new deals.
It might not seem much like new signing news on the opening day of the summer transfer window given the players were all with the club last season.
But McCall revealed how the four player-coaches will play a crucial role in shaping the future of the club aswell as continuing their playing careers to a varying level.
Maxwell, as expected, will assume the role of assistant manager while Hinchcliffe will continue in his position as goalkeeper coach in which he has been lauded for his work with departed number one Jonny Tuffey and kid gloves Ryan Scully.
McNamara and Donnelly will work with the youth players on a daily basis but, with their experience, will also be a key part of the first team squad in division one.
McCall said: "I'm delighted that we have these four individuals back on board at Firhill. They will all play an integral role in helping take Partick Thistle forward."
Maxwell, pictured, returns to Firhill for a third season after snubbing interest from several interested parties in the lower leagues, including Livingston.
His familiarity with the first division and experience built up over 12 years playing at the top with Ross County, St Johnstone and St Mirren make the 35-year-old defender an invaluable lieutenant for McCall.
The towering stopper made 30 appearances for the Jags last term but is likely to spend more time in the dug out alongside the Thistle boss this time around as the Jags look to bring through the likes of young Ross McGeough in defence.
McGeough is highly rated at Firhill and made his first appearances for Thistle in the last two games of last season helping the team to clean sheets against Raith Rovers and Queen of the South.
The teenager signed professional terms this summer alongside Ryan MacBeth and Ryan Scully and McCall today made it clear that this is the way forward for the cash-strapped club.
Thus the securing of McNamara and Donnelly in dual playing and youth-coach capacities is seen as crucial to McCall's long-term plan.
He said: "Creating a youth structure worth talking about has been a priority of mine since I became manager here but in the current climate it becomes even more important.
"In the past Thistle have perhaps been guilty of starting and then abandoning youth policies but that most certainly will not be the case this time.
"The budget for youth development is separate from that for the first team and the Board of Directors are in full support of what we are trying to achieve.
"We've got the right people in place trying to make our youth structure the best it possibly can be. Gerry Britton is great in his role as Head of Youth Development, Ian Cameron, although not full-time, is doing an excellent job with the under 19 side and in Simon Donnelly and Jackie McNamara we have two individuals who will set a perfect example to those that they will be coaching."