ATHLETIC are on the hunt for a new first team coach after it was announced Callum Davidson is to leave the club.

The 42-year-old former Scotland defender arrived at East End in February on a deal until the end of the season to work alongside head coach, and ex-international team-mate, Stevie Crawford and his number two Greg Shields.

Davidson, who had previously worked at Stoke City under Gary Rowett before they were relieved of their duties by the English Championship club, had been offered fresh terms to stay with the Pars next season.

Crawford had previously spoken of his desire to retain his services, commenting: "Callum has worked at a high level in his coaching career and has been a great addition to the squad.

"They (Davidson and Shields) have been a great a support for me; that is important and that is why I will be keen to try and keep Callum on."

However, the former St Johnstone assistant boss - who worked alongside Tommy Wright when the Perth club won their first major honour, the Scottish Cup, in 2014 - has decided that his future lies elsewhere.

Speaking to the Dunfermline website, Crawford said: "On behalf of myself, Greg and everyone connected with our club, I would like to thank Callum for coming in and helping out over the last couple of months.

"We all enjoyed working with him and wish him and his family every success in the future."

Stirling-born Davidson, who won 42 caps for his country, began his career with St Johnstone before moving to Blackburn Rovers in 1998 for £1.75 million - a record fee received by the McDairmid Park club.

After two years at Ewood Park, he moved on to Leicester City, for whom he made over 100 appearances.

He left the Foxes to join Preston North End in 2004 - where he was appointed club captain - before rejoining Saints in 2011.

He was appointed as manager Tommy Wright's assistant at McDairmid Park in the summer of 2013 and, that season, they led the club to victory over Dundee United in the Scottish Cup final.

In 2017, Davidson joined then Scotland boss Gordon Strachan's backroom team for a World Cup qualifier against England at Hampden, which ended 2-2.

At the time, Strachan told the Official Scotland Podcast: "We have done our homework and everyone speaks highly of Callum.

"He has also been an international player and knows what is needed."

Immediately after appointing Davidson, Dunfermline won their first game under Crawford's tenure - a 1-0 success over Inverness Caledonian Thistle - which marked the start of a run of five successive victories.

However, their form subsequently nosedived as they gained just one point from their final eight games to finish seventh in the Championship, just three points above the bottom two.