Donald Park

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Donald Park
Personal information
Full name Donald Park
Date of birth (1953-07-19) 19 July 1953 (age 63)
Place of birth Caol, Scotland
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Scottish Football Association
(Head of Coach Education)
Youth career
1969–1972 Caledonian
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1972–1978 Heart of Midlothian 142 (26)
1978–1983 Partick 162 (25)
1983–1985 Heart of Midlothian 52 (7)
1985–1986 Brechin City 37 (1)
1986–1988 Meadowbank Thistle 84 (11)
Total 477 (70)
Teams managed
1992–1993 Meadowbank Thistle
1994–1995 Arbroath (co-manager)
2001 Hibernian (caretaker)
2004 Inverness CT (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Donald Park (born 19 July 1953) is a Scottish association football coach and a former player. He is currently employed by the Scottish Football Association as their Head of Coach Education.

Playing career[edit]

A product of the Scottish Highland Football League, Park was educated at Lochaber High School in the Highlands of North West Scotland. Donald Park joined Highland League club Inverness Caledonian as a 16-year-old in 1969. With him, his best mate and also an ex-professional footballer for Aberdeen FC, George Campbell, were together aspiring to be footballers since they were young. As a youth Park also played shinty. Park was capped several times at amateur international level by Scotland whilst with both Inverness Caledonian FC and Hearts FC.

Park turned professional when he signed for Heart of Midlothian in 1972. He spent six seasons at Tynecastle, initially as a winger then latterly as a central midfielder. In September 1978 he was transferred to Partick Thistle, in a swap deal involving Denis McQuade, and he played an important role for the Maryhill Magyars as they perennially fought relegation from the Premier Division. When the Glasgow side suffered demotion, Park returned to Hearts in May 1983. He ended his career with short spells at Brechin City and Meadowbank Thistle.

Coaching career[edit]

While he was a player at Meadowbank, Park moved into coaching and he was eventually appointed manager of the club in 1992. He left after a year, and then spent a short time as joint-manager of Arbroath with George Mackie in 1994, before joining Hibs as a coach in July of that year. He served as a youth coach under managers Alex Miller and Alex McLeish, and became the interim manager when McLeish left for Rangers in 2001.[1] When Franck Sauzée was appointed as McLeish's successor, Park was promoted to the position of the assistant manager.[2] Sauzee was sacked by Hibs after only 69 days as manager, and Park left the club at the end of the 2001–02 season.[2] Park was credited with the development of young players including Derek Riordan,[3] Kenny Miller, Ian Murray, Tam McManus and Garry O’Connor.[2]

The departure of Ebbe Skovdahl from Aberdeen in November 2002 led in turn to the recruitment of the successful Inverness manager Steve Paterson and his assistant Duncan Shearer, leaving the Inverness post vacant. Following an extensive interview process, Livingston coach John Robertson was appointed and Park was appointed his assistant. The pair led Inverness to the Scottish First Division title in 2004 and promotion to the Scottish Premier League. Following Craig Levein's move to Leicester City, Robertson and Park were appointed to be the Hearts management team.

Robertson and Park's career at Hearts was brief and, despite reaching two cup semi-finals and achieving a fifth-place finish in the league, they were sacked and replaced by George Burley in 2005. Following the departure of Craig Brewster to Dundee Utd, Inverness appointed Charlie Christie to be interim manager. A number of high-profile names were linked with the vacancy including Park himself. Christie was appointed on 27 January 2006 with Park as his assistant. At the split in the 2005–06 season, Inverness narrowly missed out on a spot in the top half of the SPL.

He resigned as Caley assistant manager in August 2007 to move back to the Central Belt. He initially took a job with Raith Rovers before being appointed as Mixu Paatelainen's assistant at Hibernian in January 2008.[4] Park served in this role for 18 months before being appointed as Head of Coach Education by the SFA.[5][6]


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