INVERKEITHING Hillfield Swifts have appointed a new management team in the wake of Pat Scullion’s resignation.

The 36-year-old, who had taken over from Grant Brough in the summer, recently quit his post with the East of Scotland League, Premier Division outfit, citing “things that have happened in the background that have been outwith my control” for his decision.

His coaching team of Mark Leslie, Graham Miller and Jamie Stephen have also departed, as has captain and top goalscorer Greig Spence.

The club, who entertained Crossgates Primrose on Saturday, winning 1-0, moved quickly to secure the services of Iain Mauchlen, Craig Morrison and Stuart Innes to take charge on an initial temporary basis.

Chairman Craig Reid, speaking ahead of the Crossgates match, was delighted to bring in the trio, who he said had “great experience locally” and “understand what the club’s all about” short-term, which he did not rule out becoming a more permanent arrangement.

He said that Mauchlen, son of former Kilmarnock, Motherwell and Leicester City player Ally, has “been known to the club for a long time”, having helped out previously with their under-20s team, and has been on the books of the likes of Kelty Hearts, Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers.

Innes and Morrison also have dugout experience with the likes of Burntisland Shipyard and Dundonald Bluebell in the bank, and Reid told Press Sport: “All three of them have been really, really good, and have great experience locally on the old junior football scene, having played with the Keltys, Hill of Beaths and all the rest of them.

“They are three really good guys that are well known to the club, who have all been involved in our over-35s as well, and at different age groups within the club, have really, really good connections, and understand what the club’s all about to be honest with you. From a temporary perspective, I couldn’t get three better guys that want to come in, steady the ship for us and give it a bash. Their local knowledge is superb. There’s not many people have more local knowledge than these three put together of our level of football.

“There is a distinct level between our level and when you’re going into League Two, One, Championship, and all that kind of stuff.

“Our level is different. It’s a different knowledge that you need and you also need to have a closely-aligned knowledge to the youth football within the area. All three of them have that as well, having helped out the 20s, and having kids that are that kind of age, coming through their late teens.

“That’s important as well for the type of model that we’ve got at the club, which is developing and promoting youth, and having a youthful team and a youthful squad at our seniors, and, at the same time, try to develop but also pick up and further enhance some of the best local talent and get them into our first team.”

Addressing Scullion’s departure, he continued: “It’s not what we wanted.

“We thought to ourselves, at the beginning of the season, there was a couple of things we wanted to improve on from a footballing perspective, but it was definitely a season about progression.

“It was definitely a season where we had foundations, it was about building on that, developing players, developing a style of play, developing the boys, and doing better than we did last season. Absolutely no-one, from a committee perspective or a management team perspective, thought that that wasn’t going to be achievable.

“That’s how we set out, and we set out at a blistering pace; four wins out of four. Since then, things became more difficult. When you’re dealing with young players, you’re dealing with a bit of inconsistency in performance sometimes but we also had a relatively young manager in Pat.

“From being a coach and a player, to being a manager, there’s a big difference. It really does turn into a 24/7 job and, trying to play at the same time as coach and manage, is probably very, very difficult.

“Over the last wee while, we tried to support as much as we could. We’ve tried to do everything that we could do to try and help.

“The form’s not great. Last season, we were picking up points every other week, whereas, over the last 10, 11, 12 games, we’ve never really registered a win. You feel the pressure mounting when that kind of stuff happens, and it’s a league we want to stay in so we’ve got to make some tough decisions sometimes.

“It’s easy making nice decisions but it’s not so nice when you’ve got to make some tough decisions. We had had a couple of conversations with Pat and decided to part ways. It gave us a chance to move forward and try and get a reaction.”