Robbie Neilson

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Robbie Neilson
Robbie Neilson.jpg
Personal information
Full name Robbie Neilson
Date of birth (1980-06-19) 19 June 1980 (age 34)
Place of birth Paisley, Scotland
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Heart of Midlothian (head coach)
Youth career
1995–1996 Rangers
1996–1999 Heart of Midlothian
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2009 Heart of Midlothian 200 (1)
1999–2000 Cowdenbeath (loan) 8 (0)
2002–2003 Queen of the South (loan) 13 (0)
2009–2011 Leicester City 26 (0)
2011 Brentford (loan) 15 (0)
2011–2012 Dundee United 21 (0)
2012-2013 Falkirk (player/coach) 3 (0)
2013 East Fife (player/coach) 5 (0)
Total 291 (1)
National team
2000 Scotland U21[1] 2 (0)
2005 Scotland B[2] 1 (0)
2006 Scotland 1 (0)
Teams managed
2014– Heart of Midlothian
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Robbie Neilson (born 19 June 1980) is a Scottish football player and coach, who is currently the head coach of Heart of Midlothian (Hearts). Neilson, who played as a defender, started his league career with Hearts. He made 200 Scottish Premier League appearances and won the Scottish Cup in 2006 with the club. Early in his career, Neilson was loaned to Scottish Football League clubs Cowdenbeath and Queen of the South. He left Hearts in 2009 and signed for English Championship club Leicester City. After about a year he was dropped from the first team at the King Power Stadium, was loaned to Brentford, and was then given a free transfer in the summer of 2011. Neilson played for Dundee United during the 2011–12 season. He has also played for Falkirk and East Fife.

Club career[edit]

Neilson holding the Scottish Cup in 2006

Born in Paisley, Scotland, Neilson was originally attached to Rangers, the team he supported, through their Boys Club system. He joined Hearts Youth Academy at 16 as he felt it offered him a better chance of eventual first-team football and career progression.[citation needed]

He had time on loan at Cowdenbeath in 1999. In August 2002 Neilson joined Dumfries club Queen of the South on loan. Neilson helped the club consolidate their Scottish First Division status and win the 2002 Scottish Challenge Cup Final, beating Brechin City 2-0.[3][4] Neilson made 17 appearances for Queens including a man of the match performance at Clyde. He returned to Tynecastle in January 2003.

A high point in his career came in 2004 with his match-winning goal in Hearts' 2-1 away win over FC Basel in the 2004-05 UEFA Cup, his first in any competition for the club.[5] He scored his first league goal for Hearts in a 3-1 win over Livingston later that season.[6]

On 4 February 2009 he was given the role of Hearts' captain after the departure of Christophe Berra. Manager Csaba Laszlo did not start contract talks with Neilson until the season drew to a close. As a result of the new wage structure at Hearts, Neilson and the club could not reach an agreement for a new contract.[7]

Neilson as a Leicester City player

In search of a new challenge,[8] Neilson agreed terms with English Championship club Leicester City on 21 May 2009.[9] The next day the club confirmed that he had signed a pre-contractual agreement and would join them in July.[10] Signing a three-year contract,[10] Neilson set his sights on helping the club win promotion to the Premier League.[8] He made his debut in a 0-0 draw against Ipswich Town at Portman Road on 15 August, becoming the 1000th player to debut for the club in a competitive match.[11] Neilson finished the season with 19 league games for Leicester. He scored his first goal for the club in a 4-3 League Cup win over Macclesfield Town on 10 August 2010.[12]

On 17 February 2011, Neilson joined Brentford on loan for a month,[13] which was extended until the end of the season on 23 March 2011.[14] On 3 April 2011 Neilson started in the 2011 Football League Trophy Final playing the full 90 minutes. Carlisle United won the match 1-0[15] On 27 May 2011, manager Sven-Göran Eriksson allowed Neilson along with Michael Lamey to speak to other clubs in search of more regular first team opportunities.[16]

After training briefly with Falkirk[17] and Burton Albion, Neilson agreed to sign a contract with Dundee United on 15 November 2011 until the end of the 2011–12 season.[18][19] His debut for the Tannadice Park club was against his former club Hearts on 19 November 2011. Neilson soon became a regular in the first team and manager Peter Houston said he was keen to keep Neilson at the club.[20] At the end of the season, Neilson was offered a new contract[citation needed] but he turned the offer down[21] and was released by the club[citation needed].

After his release, Neilson was linked with Scottish First Division side Falkirk.[22] Neilson played as a trialist for Falkirk in a league match against Dunfermline Athletic on 6 October 2012 that ended in a 2-2 draw. Neilson unfortunately suffered a cheekbone injury during the match.[23] Neilson recovered from this injury to sign for the club and play in a further two league matches. These were both 2-1 defeats, at Raith Rovers on 10 November 2012 and at Livingston on 17 November 2012.

After recovering from a knee operation, and having done some coaching work, he signed a short-term deal with Falkirk until the Summer of 2013.

In September 2013, Neilson joined East Fife as player/coach.[24] He made his debut playing as a trialist on 31 August 2013, against Rangers in a 5-0 defeat.[25]

Coaching career[edit]

On 31 August 2013, Neilson returned to Hearts being appointed as U20s Development Manager.[26] New club owner Ann Budge promoted Neilson to the head coach position, working for director of football Craig Levein, in May 2014.[27] Neilson's first official match in charge was against Rangers away from home. An injury time goal from Osman Sow wrapped up the points. Neilson followed this up by beating rivals Hibs. Having gone through the first 13 games unbeaten, dropping only four points, Neilsons Hearts side moved 9 points clear of Rangers on 22 November 2014 with a 2-0 victory over 2nd placed Gers at Tynecastle.

International career[edit]

Neilson was capped 10 times by Scotland under-21. He won his first full Scotland cap in a 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifying defeat to Ukraine in Kiev on 11 October 2006.[28]

Honours[edit]

Brentford
Heart of Midlothian
Queen of the South

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 21 December 2014:[29]
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Heart of Midlothian Scotland May 2014 Present 22 17 2 3 77.27

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Neilson, Robbie (B)". fitbastats.com. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Neilson, Robbie (B)". fitbastats.com. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  3. ^ "Queen of the South lift Bells Cup". BBC Sport. 20 October 2002. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Connolly hails cup triumph". BBC Sport. 20 October 2002. 
  5. ^ "Basel 1-2 Hearts". BBC Sport (BBC). 25 November 2004. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  6. ^ "Hearts 3-1 Livingston". BBC Sport (BBC). 19 March 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Neilson plans Hearts talks". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 6 May 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Neilson targets Premier push". Sky Sports. 8 July 2009. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  9. ^ "Hearts' Neilson to join Leicester". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 21 May 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2009. 
  10. ^ a b "Neilson signs pre-contract agreement". www.LCFC.co.uk (Leicester City F.C.). 22 May 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2009. 
  11. ^ "Ipswich 0 - 0 Leicester". BBC Sport. 15 August 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  12. ^ "Leicester 4 - 3 Macclesfield". BBC Sport. 10 August 2010. Retrieved 25 December 2010. 
  13. ^ "Neilson joins Bees on loan". www.LCFC.co.uk. Leicester City F.C. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 17 February 2011. 
  14. ^ "Reed and Neilson extend loan deals at Brentford". BBC Sport (BBC). 23 Mar 2011. Retrieved 24 Mar 2011. 
  15. ^ Shemilt, Stephan (3 April 2011). "Brentford 0 - 1 Carlisle". BBC Sport (BBC). Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  16. ^ "Foxes ready to offload duo". Sky Sports. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Friday's Scottish gossip". BBC News. 5 August 2011. 
  18. ^ "Neilson relishes Dundee Utd deal". BBC News. 15 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Thomson, Robert (15 November 2011). "Robbie’s return!". The Scottish Sun (News International). Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  20. ^ "Dundee United boss Peter Houston eager to keep Robbie Neilson at Tannadice". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). 25 April 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Robbie Neilson close to deciding next move". The Courier. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Neilson in training with Falkirk". Falkirk Herald. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Fractured cheekbone rules out Neilson". The Scotsman (Johnston Publishing). 9 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Neilson signs on at Bayview". heraldscotland.com. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  25. ^ "Rangers v East Fife 31 Aug 2013". eastfifefc.info. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  26. ^ "Robbie returns". heartsfc.co.uk. 31 August 2013. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  27. ^ McLauchlin, Brian (12 May 2014). "Craig Levein lands Hearts role as boss Gary Locke exits". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 12 May 2014. 
  28. ^ "Scots green light for Neilson". Sky Sports (BSkyB). Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  29. ^ "Robbie Neilson Managerial Stats". soccerbase.com. Soccerbase. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Christophe Berra
Hearts Captain
2009
Succeeded by
Michael Stewart